In the Mueller Report, Erik Prince Funds a Covert Effort to Obtain Clinton's E-mails from a Foreign State - 2019-04-18
Erik Prince, the billionaire founder of Blackwater, a former private-security company embroiled in controversy surrounding its use of lethal force against civilians in Iraq, makes a strange cameo appearance in the redacted version of the Mueller report, which was released on Thursday morning. Prince, who is the brother of Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education, is described as having provided some funding for a secretive effort to obtain Hillary Clinton's private e-mails from shadowy operatives working on the so-called dark Web.
According to the report, Prince "provided funding to hire a tech advisor to ascertain the authenticity" of e-mails that conservative activists had obtained. Prince, who was interviewed by the special counsel's team, said that the cache of e-mails in question turned out to be fakes.
The report, however, details a strange effort by Trump-campaign associates to hack into Clinton and the Democrats' e-mail accounts that paralleled the Russian plot. According to Mueller, the effort began as early as December, 2015, and ramped up after Trump publicly declared, on July 27, 2016, that he hoped Russia would "find the thirty thousand e-mails that are missing" from Clinton's private e-mail server. Mueller and his team never interviewed Trump, but the retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn, the campaign aide whom Trump later appointed his national-security adviser, told them that Trump repeatedly asked to get Clinton's e-mails. According to the report, Flynn tried to do this by contacting multiple people who might be able to supply them, including two well-placed conservative operatives, Peter Smith and Barbara Ledeen.