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Mueller probe witness considers child sex trafficking plea

This 1998 frame from video provided by C-SPAN shows George Nader, president and editor of Middle East Insight. Federal prosecutors have charged several people, including a Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who was a witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, with conspiring to conceal excessive campaign contributions during the 2016 presidential election.

This 1998 frame from video provided by C-SPAN shows George Nader, president and editor of Middle East Insight. Federal prosecutors have charged several people, including a Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who was a witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, with conspiring to conceal excessive campaign contributions during the 2016 presidential election.   | Photo Credit: AP

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Nader was previously convicted in the Czech Republic of 10 cases of sexually abusing minors and sentenced to a one-year prison term in 2003.

A key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is expected to plead guilty to charges of child sex trafficking and possessing child pornography.

A criminal information was filed Thursday in federal count in Alexandria against George Nader , a Lebanese-American businessman who worked to advance Saudi Arabia’s agenda to the Trump administration. An information is generally an indication of a looming guilty plea.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Nader was charged in June with possessing and transporting images of child pornography and bestiality on his cellphone. In July, prosecutors added an allegation that Nader transported a 14-year-old boy from Europe to Washington, D.C., in 2000 and engaged in sex acts with him.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria declined comment. Nader’s lawyers did not immediately return a phone call and emails seeking comment Thursday afternoon.

Nader’s name shows up more than 100 times in Mueller’s report. It details Nader’s efforts to serve as liaison between a Russian banker close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of President Donald Trump’s transition team.

Nader also served as an adviser to the United Arab Emirates, a close Saudi ally, and in 2017 wired $2.5 million to a top Trump fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, through a company in Canada, reported in 2018. The goal was to persuade the U.S. to take a hard line against Qatar, a longtime American ally but now an adversary of the UAE.

Nader was previously convicted in the Czech Republic of 10 cases of sexually abusing minors and sentenced to a one-year prison term in 2003.

Nader also pleaded guilty to a charge of transporting child-pornography images in Virginia in 1991.

The current investigation of Nader began in 2018 when images depicting child pornography and bestiality were found on his phone after it was confiscated under a search warrant connected to the Mueller probe.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 10:17:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/mueller-probe-witness-considers-child-sex-trafficking-plea/article30530924.ece

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