A lawyer for Erik Prince, the founder of private military contractor Blackwater, announced Tuesday that Prince will sue The Intercept over an article published in April that accused him of making attempts to offer military services to a Russian military contractor that has connections to the Russian government.
The April 13 article, titled “Erik Prince Offered Lethal Services to Sanctioned Russian Mercenary Firm Wagner,” accused Prince of making service offers to Wagner Group for operations conducted in Libya and Mozambique. According to the article, “Any business relationship between Prince and Wagner would, in effect, make the influential Trump administration adviser a subcontractor to the Russian military.”
When the article was published, Prince, along with his representative, swiftly denied the accusation. The article also stated that Wagner did not seek those services or that relationship with Prince.
Prince’s lawsuit, filed on May 19 in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming, said he had “no choice but to defend himself” after The Intercept accused him “of being a criminal and a traitor based on dishonest and biased anonymous sources that it made no effort to corroborate.”
According to the text from the lawsuit, The Intercept “acted with actual malice” when they published the report. The suit also heavily criticized the site for publishing the story without a witness on the record. In addition, the suit accuses The Intercept of knowingly publishing false statements.
Prince’s lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, “injunctive and declarative relief,” legal fee coverage, an award of “pre and post-judgment interest,” and other compensation the court may deem appropriate.
In a statement provided to Real Clear Investigations, a representative for The Intercept said, “We will not comment until we are able to review any lawsuit.”