Close Trump ally Erik Prince, who is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller, will host a fundraiser for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa), a congressman known for his unusually close ties to Russia.
Rohrabacher continues to parade his close ties to Russia unabashedly, and this fundraiser with Prince, who has obvious Russia connections, will only remind voters why he’s called “Putin’s favorite congressman.”
Mueller is reportedly looking into a meeting that took place in January 2017 between Prince, a Blackwater founder and the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and a Russian businessman. The secret meeting, which happened days before the inauguration of Trump, “was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin,” according to the Washington Post.
In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Prince claimed the meeting was merely a chance encounter. Lying to Congress is a crime, and several members of the Intelligence Committee would like Prince to answer for discrepancies between his testimony and recent reports.
Nonetheless, Prince will host a fundraiser for Rohrabacher on March 18 at his home in Virginia, where guests can attend for a minimum $1,000 donation to Rohrabacher’s campaign. Those willing to cough up $2,700 (roughly 150,000 Russian rubles) can attend a VIP reception before the event.
Rohrabacher’s fondness for Russia is well-documented. His ties to the Kremlin are so disturbing that his own party curtailed his authority as chairman of a congressional subcommittee with jurisdiction over U.S.-Russia policy. In what was later claimed to be a joke, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) once alleged both Rohrabacher and Trump are on Vladimir Putin’s payroll.
When Muller’s investigation indicted 13 Russian nationals for illegal attempts to support Trump in the 2016 election, Rohrabacher put out a statement full of misinformation. He has even sided with Russia over U.S. intelligence agencies.
Rohrabacher certainly needs all the fundraising help he can get. His lackluster hauls during 2017 trailed not one, but two Democratic opponents.
Polling in his district, once considered a Republican stronghold, shows voters are not inclined to re-elect the 70-year-old Congressman to a 16th term. His ties to Russia, which continue to make their ways to the headlines, will certainly be on the minds of voters in November.