A Lebanese American businessman and former Trump campaign ally-turned-witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was sentenced to a decade behind bars on Friday for child sex-trafficking and child pornography offenses.
George Nader, 61, pleaded guilty in Jan. 2020 in an Alexandria, Virginia federal court.
Nader is believed to have orchestrated a 2016 meeting between former national security advisor Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, then-strategist Steven Bannon and United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
A high-profile hanger-on and Trump ally, Nader is additionally believed to have organized a controversial 2017 meeting in the Seychelles during which Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s brother Erik Prince and others–including Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund–met with bin Zayed. Nader also offered his services to Donald Trump Jr. at an infamous Trump Tower meeting in 2016.
Nader’s connections initially put him in Mueller’s sights as an important witness in January 2018. Nader’s phone was seized as part of the Mueller probe. Incriminating photos were found thereafter, which ultimately led to Friday’s sentencing.
Served a grand jury subpoena, Nader was explicitly questioned as to whether the UAE had improperly tried to influence members of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. In return for his testimony in Mueller’s foreign interference investigation, he was given immunity from prosecution for any potential charges related to those issues.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents followed up on the lead and gained access to Nader’s cell phones. Once those devices were in the FBI’s possession, child pornography was apparently discovered—depicting children as young as three years of age. Nader was arrested on charges related to those files in June 2019 and accused of “transporting visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.”
Nader was slapped with additional charges–including the sex trafficking allegation–in July 2019. In that second indictment, Nader was accused of flying a 14-year-old boy from Europe to the United States for sexual abuse. His defense team later fought an unsuccessful effort to have those charges dismissed based on the statute of limitations. A federal judge ruled against him in November 2019 and allowed the prosecution to proceed.
The Atlantic previously reported on Nader’s prior sex crimes charges and convictions. One such set of charges–which did not result in a conviction–was filed in 1985. In 1991, however, Nader was convicted of transporting child pornography and given a six-month sentence. Records in that case were sealed. In 2003, Nader was sentenced in the Czech Republic to one year in prison for sexually abusing minors.
Apparently, none of this prevented Nader from setting up meetings with members of the Trump transition team nor prevented him from becoming an informal foreign policy advisor to president-elect Donald Trump. According to the Associated Press, Nader’s name came up in the Mueller report “more than 100 times.”
The Czech victim in the case reportedly testified at the sentencing hearing by phone, saying, according to a translation, that Nader “destroyed practically my entire life, and I am trying to put it back together piece by piece.”
“My health is bad. I have ulcers. I stopped eating. I had nightmares. I am still dealing with those now,” the victim added.
Nader reportedly said Friday that he heard “what’s been said about me” and “can say I am sincerely, deeply sorry for the suffering I have caused.” The convicted sex offender agreed to pay $150,000 in restitution to the victim.
Colin Kalmbacher contributed to this report.
[image via screengrab/CSPAN]
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