Trump transition team associate arrested in NY on child porn charges

This 1998 frame from video provided by C-SPAN shows George Nader, president and editor of Middle East Insight. Nadar, who worked to advance Saudi Arabia’s agenda to the Trump administration and who later provided grand jury testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller, has been arrested on charges of transporting a dozen images of child pornography and bestiality. Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia announced that George Nader, 60, was arrested Monday morning, June 3, 2019 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. (C-SPAN via AP, File)

CHRIS SOMMERFELDT | NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

NEW YORK — George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who played an unusual role on President Donald Trump’s transition team, was arrested on child pornography charges in New York on Monday, federal prosecutors said.

Federal agents cuffed Nader at John F. Kennedy Airport and charged him with possessing a cellphone containing images or videos of children “engaged in sexually explicit conduct,” according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Alexandria, Va.

Nader, who pleaded guilty to similar charges in 1991, will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said. He could face a maximum of 40 years behind bars.

The charges were confidentially filed by the Virginia office on Jan. 17, 2018, according to the feds. The charges were unsealed after Nader’s arrest and he’s expected to make an initial appearance in court in New York.

Nader served as a link between members of Trump’s presidential transition and Middle Eastern officials as well as Russians trying to curry favor with the incoming administration.

The 60-year-old Lebanese national, who holds U.S. citizenship, most prominently helped coordinate a controversial January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles between Trump-boosting Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian government official with close ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Nader’s testimony to Mueller contradicted Prince’s contention that the Seychelles meeting was random and not coordinated with people connected to the Trump transition.

Nader was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors as part of their investigation into possible coordination between Trump campaign officials and Russians interfering in the 2016 election.

Mueller mentioned Nader by name in dozens of footnotes in his 448-page report. The citations refer to information Nader provided in interviews as well as emails and text messages.

Vice President Mike Pence, who led Trump’s transition team, did not return a request for comment via a spokeswoman. Nader could not be immediately reached for comment.

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