Mueller witness with ties to Trump transition charged with child pornography
Lebanese-American businessman George Nader, who operated as a link between members of President Trump's orbit and Russian and Middle East officials in 2016 and 2017, has been charged on child pornography charges, the Washington Post reports.
Why it matters: Nader was a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and is known to have set up a now-infamous meeting in the Seychelles between Trump associate Erik Prince and a Russian official with close ties to the Kremlin. He has presented himself as close to the powerful crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, and was convicted of transporting child porn 28 years ago.
Some excerpts from the Mueller report about Nader:
- Page 147: "[Kirill] Dmitriev is a Russian national who was appointed CEO of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), when it was founded in 2011. Dmitriev reported directly to Putin and frequently referred to Putin as his "boss." RDIF has co-invested in various projects with UAE sovereign wealth funds. Dmitriev regularly interacted with Nader, a senior advisor to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Nader provided information to the Office in multiple interviews, all but one of which were conducted under a proffer agreement."
- Page 148: "Nader considered Dmitriev to be Putin's interlocutor in the Gulf region, and would relay Dmitriev's views directly to Crown Prince Mohammed. Nader developed contacts with both U.S. presidential campaigns during the 2016 election, and kept Dmitriev abreast of his efforts to do so. According to Nader, 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. Nader did not introduce Dmitriev to anyone associated with the Trump Campaign before the election."
- Page 151: "Nader traveled to New York in early January 2017 and had lunchtime and dinner meetings with Erik Prince on January 3, 2017. Nader and Prince discussed Dmitriev. Nader informed Prince that the Russians were looking to build a link with the incoming Trump Administration. [REDACTED] he told Prince that Dmitriev had been pushing Nader to introduce him to someone from the incoming Administration. [REDACTED] Nader suggested, in light of Prince's relationship with Transition Team officials, that Prince and Dmitriev meet to discuss issues of mutual concern. [REDACTED] Prince told Nader that he needed to think further about it and to check with Transition Team officials."
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Nader has been indicted. He has been charged and arrested.