George Aref Nader, age 61, a Lebanese American businessman, who was a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, and who helped broker the release of American hostages in Lebanon after the Iran-Contra affair during the George H. W. Bush Administration era, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday June 25, 2020.
According to Politico, Nader is also facing separate criminal charges in Washington D.C. related to an alleged scheme to illegally funnel money to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid and other U.S. political campaigns. Nader has had close ties to top U.S. national security and foreign policy figures for decades, and appeared to have courted Trump’s inner circle during Trump’s campaign.
In August 2016, Nader met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower offering assistance to the presidential campaign, according to the New York Times. In December 2016, Nader attended a meeting in New York between the United Arab Emirates officials and president-elect Donald Trump’s associates Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon.
On January 17, 2018 Nader was questioned by FBI agents and Nader’s cell phone was confiscated after he arrived at Washington-Dulles International Airport from Dubai.
FBI agents were working during an investigation for special counsel Robert Mueller, as George Nader was a veteran Mideast policy expert who took part in transition activities for incoming President Donald Trump. Child pornography was incidentally found on one of his three cell phones during inspection by agents working on a warrant. On Monday June 3, 2019 Nader was arrested by federal agents and charged with transporting visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct, as he arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. He was accused of possession of child pornography and images of bestiality and, transportation of child pornography (his second offense).
Nader was held in jail pending trial in Alexandria, Virginia. Also in 2019, he was charged with having transported a 14-year-old Czech boy from Europe for sex at his Washington-area home in February 2000. Nader’s hearing included a statement delivered via telephone call by a Czech man who in 2000, at age 14, was brought to the U.S. by Nader and sexually abused.
Nader reached a plea deal with prosecutors, and in January 2020, pleaded guilty to charges of possession of child pornography and transportation of a minor, for which prosecutors recommended the minimum penalty of ten years. On June 26 2020, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Nader had been previously charged with multiple crimes involving the sexual exploitation of minors, and convicted of several of them, according to Politico. A federal court in Virginia in 1991 gave him a six-month sentence on a felony charge of transporting from Germany pornographic videotapes of boys about 13 or 14 years old. Prosecutors agreed to put the case under seal “due to the extremely sensitive nature of Mr. Nader’s work in the Middle East,” according to Politico, according to an AP News report.
In 2003, Nader was convicted in Prague, Czech Republic, of sexually abusing ten boys. He served one year in prison. A spokesperson of the court told press that the crimes occurred between 1999 and 2002. In one case, at his room in the Hilton Prague Hotel, Nader requested oral sex from a 14-year-old boy. After he refused, Nader masturbated in front of him and paid him 2,000 koruna (USD $86).
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CMES Director Nader Hashemi joined Al Jazeera English for an interview about a new indictment against lobbyist George Nader for violating campaign finance laws. Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman and convicted sex offender, has acted as an informal conduit between the Trump administration and Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, as well as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
A Lebanese-American businessman appears to be playing an increasingly important role in the investigation which is examining alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election (SOURCE: Al Jazeera — funded in whole or in part by the Qatari government).