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Mueller witness George Nader pleads guilty to child porn, sex trafficking

political hobnobber who featured prominently as a key witness in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation faces at least a decade in prison after pleading guilty to charges of child sex trafficking and possessing child pornography.

Lebanese-American businessman George Nader, 60, entered a plea deal Monday in federal court in Alexandria, Va., admitting to transporting a 14-year-old boy from the Czech Republic to Washington, D.C., in 2000 to engage in sexual activity with him. He also admitted to possessing child pornography depicting infants or toddlers.

Nader is still separately under indictment in Washington along with seven others on charges of conspiring to conceal the source of more than $3.5 million in political donations to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. Nader allegedly was reporting to an unnamed Middle Eastern government on that operation, which was intended to curry favor with Clinton, prosecutors in that case said.

In the meantime, the pornography charge itself carries a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence. Prosecutors agreed as part of the plea bargain to recommend a 10-year sentence when Nader is sentenced April 10, although the judge will be free to impose a significantly longer sentence of up to 30 years if she chooses.

Nader’s name appears more than 100 times in Mueller’s report. It details Nader’s efforts to serve as a liaison for a January 2017 meeting between a Russian banker with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and members of President Trump’s transition team.

Nader previously served as an adviser to the United Arab Emirates, a close Saudi ally, and in 2017 he wired $2.5 million to a top Trump fundraiser, Elliott Broidy, through a company in Canada. 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.

FLASHBACK: NADER IN THE SPOTLIGHT IN MUELLER PROBE

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. In that case, according to Czech court documents, Nader found a boy by cruising an arcade in Prague and lured them in with “money, jewelry, mobile telephones, clothing, care and housing.”

The 14-year-old boy who was the victim in Monday’s guilty plea is a different victim than the ones identified in the Czech case.

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

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Copyright 2019 John B. Wells