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Lobbyist Tied to Trump’s Transition Was Just Arrested on Child Porn Charges

by Greg Walters
Jun 3 2019, 8:59pm

WASHINGTON — A key witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has been indicted for transporting child pornography, prosecutors said Monday.

George Nader, 60, a dual Lebanese-U.S. citizen, was apprehended in an airport near Washington D.C. in January 2018 while allegedly carrying a cellphone with images depicting minors engaged in “sexually explicit conduct,” prosecutors said in a statement.

Nader worked on the periphery of Trump's campaign and presidential transition, allegedly helping arrange discrete communications between members of Trump’s inner circle and well-connected figures from Russia and the Middle East.

Nader’s name appears throughout the Mueller report, largely in connection with his role in setting up a secretive meeting in the Seychelles between a top Russian banker close to Russian president Vladimir Putin named Kirill Dmitriev, and Erik Prince, the founder of the Blackwater private security firm and Trump campaign supporter.

Nader was questioned by Mueller after arranging the meeting during the presidential transition period. According to the Mueller report, Nader told Mueller’s investigators that “Dmitriev said that his and the government of Russia’s preference was for candidate Trump to win and asked Nader to assist him in meeting members of the Trump campaign.”

Prince, the brother of Trump education secretary Betsy DeVos, was accused of making false statements under oath to Congress about the Seychelles meeting by the House Intelligence Committee in April. The committee forwarded a referral to Attorney General William Barr, outlining incidents where Prince’s comments didn’t line up with the Mueller report.

Nader was arrested Monday morning after arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, prosecutors said. This case is being investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force, which is composed of FBI agents and local, state and federal partners, prosecutors said.

If convicted, Nader faces a minimum 15 years in prison and a maximum 40-year-sentence. Nader previously pleaded guilty to the same charges in 1991 in the Eastern District of Virginia, the same jurisdiction that announced the new charges on Monday.

Cover: This 1998 frame from video provided by C-SPAN shows George Nader, president and editor of Middle East Insight. As an adviser to Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Nader worked throughout 2017 with Elliott Broidy, a fundraiser for President Donald Trump, in a secretive lobbying effort to alter U.S. policy in the Middle East. Nader is now cooperating with U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into foreign meddling in American politics. (C-SPAN via AP, File)