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George Nader. Image via CSPAN.

George Nader, a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, pleaded guilty Monday to possessing child pornography and bringing a 14-year-old to the United States for sex, the Washington Post reports.

The backdrop: The Lebanese-American businessman came under scrutiny in the Mueller probe for acting as a conduit between Trump advisers and various Middle Eastern interests, including Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

  • Nader helped set up up a controversial meeting in the Seychelles in January 2017 between informal Trump adviser Erik Prince and a Russian official close to Vladimir Putin.
  • He also orchestrated an August 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Prince, Donald Trump Jr. and Israeli social media specialist Joel Zamel, who reportedly pitched the Trump campaign on a multimillion-dollar social media manipulation scheme.
  • Nader was indicted in December on campaign finance charges for allegedly using straw donors to conceal contributions to Hillary Clinton, per Politico.

Driving the news: Nader pleaded guilty to possessing pornography that was discovered when the Mueller team's agents were looking through his phone. The imagery was handed over to the FBI.

  • Nader is also alleged to have taken a child from the Czech Republic to his home in Washington in 2000. He was charged in 2003 in the Czech Republic for sexual contact with a minor boy and was sentenced to a year in prison.
  • Nader had already been convicted of transporting child pornography in 1991.

Go deeper: Read excerpts about Nader from the Mueller report

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorization โ€” Vaccinating rural America won't be easy โ€” Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus deal โ€” Chuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  5. ๐ŸŽง Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.
Alayna Treene, author ofย Sneak Peek
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

FCC chairman to depart in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ajit Pai will leave his post as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 20, the agency said today.

Why it matters: Pai's Inauguration Day departure is in keeping with agency tradition, and could set up the Biden administration with a 2-1 Democratic majority at the FCC if the Senate fails to confirm another Trump nominee during the lame-duck period.