Special counsel Robert Mueller has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in the Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin - apparently contradicting statements made to lawmakers by one of its participants, according to people familiar with the matter.
In addition, the Times reported, citing "three people familiar with the meeting" that the crown prince convened a January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles involving Mr. Nader and advisers to both President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"I don't think this impairs the credibility of the Mueller probe", Napolitano said on "America's Newsroom". Since then, he has been talking to Mueller's investigators and providing information to the grand jury.
Prince was interviewed as as part of several ongoing congressional investigations into the matter of Russian election interference.
"We chatted on topics ranging from oil and commodity prices to how much his country wished for resumption of normal trade relations with the U.S.A.", Prince told lawmakers.
In his testimony before Congress, Prince reportedly omitted Nader's presence at the meeting, which added to the cloud gathering over him.
Erik Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and a former adviser to Trump, was at the meeting.
Obama's National Security Adviser Susan Rice explained during a September 2017 House Intelligence Committee interview why she unmasked Prince and members of Trump's transition team. The Washington Post reported last week that at least four countries, including the United Arab Emirates, have discussed ways they could compromise Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law.
Based on information it has gathered, Mueller's office claimed that the meeting between Prince and Dmitriev had in fact been premeditated, and was meant to coordinate an eventual meeting between a representative of Trump's transition team and a Russian Federation emissary.
If confirmed, the nature of the Seychelles meeting would not be the first time the White House has allegedly tried to establish a back-channel with Russian Federation.
Prince was never officially part of Trump's transition, but frequently communicated with its members and served as an unofficial representative for it, according to investigators.
The Seychelles meeting took place after this initial encounter.
Any donation or acceptance of foreign money in American election is illegal under federal law. Legal experts say that Trump might be playing with fire by giving off the appearance that he is inquisitive about Mueller's witnesses, as the special counsel could use that as supplementary evidence of obstruction.