Witness in Mueller Trump-Russia probe arrested for child pornography
A federal judge on Friday ordered a man who served as an “informal” Trump advisor and who cooperated with Mueller's investigation to remain in jail until his trial on child pornography charges.
“George Aref Nader is a Lebanese-American businessman, lobbyist, and convicted sex offender. He has acted as an unofficial liaison between Washington politicians and Middle Eastern officials.”
Under the judge's order late Friday, George Aref Nader will stay in jail until his trial for transporting child pornography.
The judge cited the threat that Nader, who served as a witness in Robert Mueller's Trump-Russia probe, poses to the community.
The next hearing on Nader's case is scheduled for Monday at the federal courthouse in Alexandria.
Nader, 60, was once an informal adviser to the Trump White House and has attended high-level meetings with members of President Donald Trump's inner circle. He was also a key cooperator in Mueller's investigation. Now he'll live in an Alexandria, Virginia, jail awaiting trial on a federal charge transporting sexually explicit videos of underage boys.
Prosecutors said Nader posed an "extreme danger to the community" and federal Magistrate Judge Ivan Davis agreed. The judge cited Nader's decades-old convictions in the US for possessing child pornography and for "hands-on contact with minors" in the Czech Republic.
"Forty years ago, he had a propensity, and 40 years later he still has it," Davis said of Nader's repeated contact with minors. "That's a problem. ... He has not gotten any better, it appears."
During a contentious hearing, Nader's defense attorneys unsuccessfully pleaded with the judge to release him from jail, so he could move to a long-term medical facility. Nader recently had open-heart surgery and is dealing with a "very serious health condition," his lawyers said.
Nader's lawyers said he was prepared to tap into his $3 million net worth and hire a private security firm to provide around-the-clock armed guards outside his hospital room. The judge balked and suggested that Nader could just stop paying the guards, allowing him to walk free.
If convicted of this latest charge, Nader would face at least 15 years in prison, according to federal law. He hasn't had a chance to enter a plea, though his lawyers referred to the charge as an "allegation" and sought to downplay his Czech conviction for sexual contact with minors.
On the other hand, prosecutors pained Nader as a lifelong pedophile who started by watching child pornography but raised the stakes by having sex with minors. They said he paid a pimp to facilitate the abuse in the Czech Republic and once brought a "child prostitute" to the US.