Politics

Mueller witness George Nader charged with transporting 14-year-old boy for sex, child porn

Key Points
  • George Nader, who was a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, is charged in a new federal indictment with transporting a 14-year-old boy for sex, child pornography and carrying obscene materials.
  • Nader has been an advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates.
  • Mueller's report says Nader helped arrange a January 2017 meeting between Erik Prince and the head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, who reported directly to Vladimir Putin, as part of a purported Russian effort to build a link with President Donald Trump's new administration.
This 1998 frame from video provided by C-SPAN shows George Nader, president and editor of Middle East Insight. As an adviser to Abu Dhabi's crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Nader worked throughout 2017 with Elliott Broidy, a fundraiser for President Donald Trump, in a secretive lobbying effort to alter U.S. policy in the Middle East.
C-SPAN via AP

George Nader, a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe, has been charged in a new federal indictment with transporting a 14-year-old boy for sex two decades ago, child pornography and carrying obscene materials into the United States.

The new charges against Nader, a 60-year-old Middle East power broker, were revealed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Nader — who has been an advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates — already was being held in jail without bail after his arrest at a New York City airport in early June on a charge of transporting child pornography.

The charge used to arrest Nader at that time was based on an allegation his iPhone contained images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct when he flew into Washington Dulles International Airport in January 2018.

That same allegation is contained in the new indictment charging him with transportation of visual depictions of minors, as well as another count accusing him of importation or transportation of obscene materials.

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The third count accuses Nader of knowingly transporting a 14-year-old boy from Europe to Washington Dulles Airport in February 2000 and then allegedly engaging in sexual acts with that child after taking him to Nader's home in Washington.

The boy was from the Czech Republic, a prosecutor reportedly said at Nader's arraignment on Friday.

The Washington Post reported Friday that in 2003 "Nader was convicted in the Czech Republic of what his attorney Christopher Clark described in court as 'contributing to the moral corruption of society' after 'having a relationship with two young men two years under the age of consent.' "

The Associated Press said he was sentenced to one year in prison in that earlier case.

Nader pleaded not guilty to the charges during his arraignement in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, where a judge refused to grant him bail, noting, "the nature of the charges and [his] extensive overseas connections," The Post reported.

A dual citizen of Lebanon and the United States, Nader is scheduled to go on trial on Sept. 30

He was convicted of a child pornography charge in Virginia in 1991 and sentenced to six months in prison.

Nader faced a similar charge in Washington, D.C., in 1985, but that case was dismissed as a result of an invalid search warrant.

Defense lawyers for Nader did not immediately return requests for comment from CNBC.

Nader helped arrange a January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles between Erik Prince and Kirill Dmitriev, the head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund, who reported directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Mueller's report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Prince is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the founder of private security firm Blackwater, and he is also a supporter of President Donald Trump.

"Nader traveled to New York in early January 2017 and had lunchtime and dinner meetings with Erik Prince on January 3, 2017," Mueller's report says.

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"Nader and Prince discussed Dmitriev. Nader informed Prince that the Russians were looking to build a link with the incoming Trump Administration .... he told Prince that Dmitriev had been pushing Nader to introduce him to someone from the incoming Administration," the report says.

The meeting in the Seychelles was set up after Dmitriev asked Nader "to request a meeting with the 'key people' in the incoming administration [of President Trump] as soon as possible in light of the [g]reat results" of Trump's election victory, according to the report.

Nader has played a role in the diplomatic efforts of some U.S. presidents.

He worked on President George H.W. Bush's efforts to release hostages held in Lebanon and later was involved in President Bill Clinton's attempt at reaching a peace deal between Israel and Syria, according to CNN.