Jeremy Scahill for The Intercept | June 10 2018
onald Trump has fully embraced both official, legalized corruption as well as good, old garden-variety individual corruption. Did Trump directly conspire with Vladimir Putin and Russia to influence the 2016 election? That is certainly possible. Will we see concrete evidence of that, especially evidence that would stand up in a court? That also is possible. It is also plausible that Robert Mueller issues a public report that would be damaging, if not damning, to Trump, but for whatever reason decides not to or, because of Trump’s influence over the Justice Department, cannot pursue criminal action. We shall see. But this much is clear: It is a major mistake to place all focus on Russia. We know that Trump’s team has colluded with Israel. We know they colluded with Saudi Arabia. We know they colluded with the United Arab Emirates.
There has been much discussion of the secret meetings during the 2016 campaign held at Trump Tower with various members of Trump’s inner circle and family members. Recently we learned of yet another — this one reportedly took place on August 3, 2016, and was arranged by Blackwater founder Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. He has served as a shadow adviser, not only to the Trump campaign, but also to the Trump administration. He was the guy that pitched Trump on this idea of a privatized force for Afghanistan and was also involved with pitching the idea of a private intelligence force that could circumvent the deep state. Prince and his mother were also major financiers of the Trump election campaign.
This meeting, first revealed by the New York Times, has raised serious questions from many news outlets and some members of Congress about whether Erik Prince committed perjury before the House Intelligence Committee when he denied any role in the Trump campaign and downplayed his meeting with a powerful Russian businessman in the Seychelles in January 2017.