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Zhao writes: "Nader, who acted as a link between President Donald Trump's team and Middle East and Russia officials in 2016 and 2017, was stopped with a search warrant on a matter 'unrelated to child pornography,' according to prosecutors."

Robert Mueller. (photo: NBC)
Robert Mueller. (photo: NBC)

Key Mueller Witness, Trump Transition Associate George Nader Indicted on Child Pornography Charges

By Christina Zhao, Newsweek

04 June 19


eorge Nader, a former key witness to special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, was indicted Monday on child pornography charges in New York.

Federal prosecutors announced that Nader, a 60-year-old Lebanese-American businessman, was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport earlier today for "transporting visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct." The charges date back to January 17, 2018, when Nader was caught with images of children engaging in sexual conduct on his cell phones at Washington-Dulles International Airport upon arrival from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Authorities filed a secret criminal complaint against Nader at the time, which was unsealed on Monday after his arrest. It is unclear why Nader is being charged now with conduct from January 2018.

Nader, who acted as a link between President Donald Trump's team and Middle East and Russia officials in 2016 and 2017, was stopped with a search warrant on a matter "unrelated to child pornography," according to prosecutors. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years if convicted.

Nader previously pleaded guilty to similar child pornography charges 27 years ago in Northern Virginia in 1991. According to Politico, he received a six-month prison sentence on a felony charge of transporting sexually explicit materials in foreign commerce for that crime.

The federal district court judge sentencing Nader will take into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jay V. Prabhu and Laura Fong will be prosecuting the case.

Mueller subpoenaed Nader last January as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election after the businessman helped organize a meeting in Seychelles between Trump associates, Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian banker linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2017. Following the subpoena, Nader testified to a grand jury and was interviewed multiple times about his dealings with Trump's team and his supporters.

The redacted 448-page Muller report, released in April, references Nader in over 40 footnotes. His recount of the January 2017 meeting contradicted Prince's assertions that the incident was a chance encounter that was not organized with anyone from Trump's transition team, according to CNN.

Newsweek has reached out to the Department of Justice for additional comment. If any further details are provided, we will update this story.

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