Politics

Erik Prince to Hold Fundraiser for Rohrabacher

Comes as Trump associate faces scrutiny in Russia investigation

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., will have a fundraiser with Blackwater founder Erik Prince. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Blackwater founder Erik Prince will host a fundraiser for California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher as the Republican faces a tough re-election.

The fundraiser will take place at Prince’s home in Middleburg, Virginia, according to CNN. Prince, a former Navy SEAL who is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ brother, interned in Rohrabacher’s Capitol Hill office in 1990.

The fundraiser comes as Prince has come under intense scrutiny from Robert S. Mueller III’s special counsel investigation regarding a meeting he had in Seychelles.

In January 2017, ahead of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, Prince met with Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian banker, and officials from the United Arab Emirates.

Watch: Intelligence Officials Aware of Russian Activity Aimed at 2018 Elections

Prince denied that the meeting was to establish a diplomatic back channel., but Democrats have criticized him for not saying in his November testimony that George Nader, who is now cooperating with Mueller’s team, was present at the meeting.

Rohrabacher for his part has come under scrutiny for his support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He previously met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and said Assange denied that Russia was behind the hack of Democratic National Committee emails. He said he wanted to present the information from Assange to Trump, but that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had prevented that.

Rohrabacher is facing a serious challenge in California’s 48th District as multiple Democrats are running against him in a district that broke for Hillary Clinton.

Many of his opponents have dug into their own pockets to fund their own campaigns or lend themselves money.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race as Tilt Republican.

Prince rose to prominence after Blackwater, the company he founded in the late 1990s, contracted with the U.S. government to provide security for officials in Iraq and Afghanistan. Four Blackwater operatives protecting a U.S. convoy in 2007 were convicted of killing Iraqi civilians in 2014, though their sentences were overturned earlier this year.

The company was rebranded Xe Services in 2009 and Prince sold his interest in it the following year.

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