Congresswomen Jan Shackowsky Calls for Investigation of Trump’s Ties to Erik Prince
Trump’s slander of Susan Rice has proven one thing: the media has learnt nothing as it’s taken the bait. The day after the story of Erik Prince’s discussion in the UAE about removing Russian sanctions-and the story of Carter Page being a Russian spy recruit-the media was full of stories about Susan Rice, a few about Carter Page, and virtually none about Erik Prince, formerly of Blackwater, Besty DeVos’s brother and with his own fingerprints all over Comeygate.
Happily, someone is talking about Erik Prince and not Susan Rice. As far as Susan Rice is concerned there’s nothing there. Trump’s refusal to release any evidence proves that.
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky demands answers:
“REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY, the most dogged opponent of Blackwater founder Erik Prince in the U.S. Congress, is blasting the Trump administration for using Prince as a shadow emissary for the White House. “He is the kind of unvetted, unscrupulous person that seems to fit very nicely, especially into the kinds of operations that they want done,” Schakowsky said in an exclusive interview for the Intercepted podcast. “This is exactly the kind of person who should be excluded from having anything to do with our government, covert or out in public.”
“Schakowsky was responding to reporting by The Intercept and the Washington Post that Prince is serving as an unofficial adviser and emissary for Trump and his team. The Post reported on Monday that Prince and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, arranged a meeting in the Seychelles islands “to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump.” That followed an earlier meeting in December 2016 with Sheikh al-Nahyan, Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, and retired Gen. Michael Flynn in New York.”
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) April 5, 2017
Covert or in public. The Trump team, of course, played dumb as always. Gee, Erik Prince wasn’t in the transition. Not in a formal, public role, no. But it’s pretty clear he had a informal, covert role.
After the heat over what Blackwater did in Iraq, Prince had to change the name of the company. His Blackwater problem precluded any formal WH role.
He’s got another security company now, though, with a different name.
“Last year, The Intercept reported on Prince’s new company, Frontier Services Group, which is based in Hong Kong and has deep ties to the Chinese government. BuzzFeed’s Aram Roston also reported that Prince “has been offering his military expertise to support Chinese government objectives and setting up two Blackwater-style training camps in China.” Roston suggested that Prince’s latest moves “could also risk violating U.S. law, which prohibits the export of military services or equipment to China.”
“In January, six days after the Seychelles meeting, The Intercept reported that Prince was informally advising Trump. Prince’s wife posted pictures from inside Trump headquarters of Trump and Mike Pence watching the election results. Prince contributed at least $250,000 to Trump’s campaign through a political action committee run by billionaire Robert Mercer. Prince’s mother also contributed heavily to the PAC. Prince’s sister Betsy DeVos is Trump’s education secretary. “The whole family is quite troubling,” said Rep. Schakowsky, “and now is part of the inner circle, the ruling party, the people with the most influence in the world, in charge of this administration.”
I also would like to know where Prince was the night at 200 Iraqis were gunned down, mostly civilians.
There has been an upsurge in Iraqi civilian deaths since Trump has been in office. Spoiler alert: it’s because he doesn’t believe they should avoid civilian deaths.
That sounds like Erik Prince advice. At Blackwater he seemed to take delight at killing as many Iraqis as possible.
This was part of the irony of Trump’s talking about the babies killed by Assad. He himself seems to have no problem targeting babies and children, all civilians.
“Schakowsky said she wants more details on the nature of Prince’s meeting with a Russian associate of Putin and clarity on his supposedly unofficial role in the Trump camp. She added, however, that the investigation should be broader in scope. “I feel that the American people, as much as they may be enjoying this unfolding mystery — this kind of House of Cards that’s real — that there’s this really, really disturbing quality to it. I think more and more American are disturbed, and, yes, its been focusing on Russia, but this with Erik Prince goes way beyond that, and I think more significantly beyond that.”
There I have to disagree with her a little bit. There’s nothing more significant than Russia subverting out election and whether or not Trumpsters like Erik Prince colluded. I get that there are many bad things that Prince could be gotten on.
But what’s the use of focusing on him without regard to Grand Theft Election? Maybe then he gets punished and Trump is unscathed.
“Schakowsky said that the U.S. intelligence community should provide Congress with answers to an array of questions on Prince. “If they have been monitoring, as it seems, Erik Prince for a long time, what have they found? What are the things he is engaged in? What are the things the American people need to know about his activities and how can we disassociate ourselves from him? And how can he be held accountable by the United States for some of the activities he’s been engaged in?”
So I welcome her call for this and hope others will follow her. I don’t agree though that the focus should be ‘broader than Russia’ as right now there is no bigger issue than if the POTUS is not legitimate, if he engaged in treason to win office in the first place.
Those who want to debate Trump’s policies alone tacitly presume his legitimacy.
I prefer, then, the stance of another Democratic congressperson, Ted Lieu:
“The bombshell revelation that U.S. officials have information that suggests Trump associates may have colluded with the Russians means we must pause the entire Trump agenda. We may have an illegitimate President of the United States currently occupying the White House.”
“Other than allowing routine governmental functions, there must be a total and complete shutdown of any agenda item being pushed by the Trump Administration. Congress cannot continue regular order and must stop voting on any Trump-backed agenda item until the FBI completes its Trump-Russia collusion investigation.”
“Congress must immediately form an independent commission and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the collusion allegations with impartiality and independence. Congress also needs to pass the Resolution of Inquiry, authored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and I, to compel the Trump Administration to publicly disclose information on its Russian ties to the American people. At this point in our nation’s history, there is nothing more important than finding out whether or not high crimes were committed by associates of Donald Trump or possibly by Trump himself.”
That in my view is the correct view. Until we know if Trump is legitimate or not-whether he colluded with Russia-I don’t want to have a policy debate with him.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will