George Nader, a key witness in Robert Mueller‘s Russia probe has apparently fled the United States after being granted immunity, according to a report issued early Thursday morning by British tabloid the Daily Mail, and subsequently shared by the Washington Post‘s Beirut Bureau Chief Liz Sly.
In a tweet sent at 4:40 a.m. Thursday, Sly wrote:
George Nader, who was cooperating with the Mueller investigation, has fled to the UAE after UAE officials “pulled strings” with the Trump administration, the Daily Mail reports
George Nader, who was cooperating with the Mueller investigation, has fled to the UAE after UAE officials “pulled strings” with the Trump administration, the Daily Mail reports https://t.co/U75ZgdpSdf
— Liz Sly (@LizSly) March 22, 2018
According to that report, Nader recently flew to the United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the small Gulf Arab state’s putative leader, “pulled strings with U.S. officials” to secure Nader’s freedom of movement. It is not clear what form this alleged string-pulling might have taken.
Al-Jazeera recently noted that Nader worked for over a year in a brazen attempt to curry favor with the Republican National Committee on behalf of the UAE.
Nader is widely believed to have orchestrated a December 2016 meeting at Trump Tower during which Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner and Steven Bannon met with bin Zayed. Nader is also believed to have organized a controversial meeting in the Seychelles during which Erik Prince and others–including Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund–met with bin Zayed.
Earlier this month, Nader began cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.
Thursday’s report suggests Nader might be done cooperating. According to the report, it would appear Mueller’s witness sought to exit the United States after The Atlantic earlier this month reported Nader had been indicted–though not convicted–on child pornography charges in 1985.
Kathryn Ruemmler, one of Nader’s attorneys, reportedly told MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow that the Daily Mail report is “totally and unequivocally false.” She also noted, however, that her client “is back and forth between the United States and the UAE regularly.” The fact of Nader’s admitted travel–and confusion regarding the particularities of his travel regimen–may be the source of Thursday’s report.
One of the Daily Mail‘s anonymous sources said, “George Nader left the US. Where is he now?” Another anonymous source reportedly said:
George is back in the UAE, though I thought he’d be too scared to go there. The fact that he’s gone back there means he’s obviously not worried. But [Mohammed bin Zayed] is going to want to see him and know what he told the special counsel.
Law&Crime left a message with Ruemmler requesting clarification on Nader’s present whereabouts and for additional comment on the serious allegations against her client. This space will be updated if and when such a response is received.
[image via screengrab/C-SPAN]