Key Mueller Witness, George Nader, Arrested on Child Pornography Charges

DOJ just arrested George Nader on charges for transporting child pornography found when he re-entered the country on January 17, 2018 and he promptly became Mueller’s star witness on the Seychelles meeting and other events involving the Gulf states.

The affidavit in the case makes it clear they found the child porn while doing a search for what must have been the Mueller investigation.

On January 16, 2018, Search Warrant 1:18-SW-30 was sworn out in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis. The search warrant pertained to a matter unrelated to child pornography. The attachments to the search warrant specified the items to be searched as “the person of George Nader” and “Any baggage associated with George Nader.. .including but not limited to any check baggage associated with George Nader on flight EF 231 as well as any carry-on baggage, including but not limited to any briefcase, satchel, or duffel bag.” The items to be seized included “Any electronic devices capable of storing, transmitting, or receiving information, including but not limited to: Cellular telephone. Tablet, Laptop…”

On January 17, 2018, NADER departed Dubai, United Arab Emirates on a direct flight aboard Emirates Airlines Flight 231 and arrived the same day at Washington-Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia. Washington-Dulles International Airport is located in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Upon arrival at Washington-Dulles International Airport, NADER declared to an agent from the United States Customs and Border Protection he was in possession of three iPhones. NADER was later voluntarily interviewed by FBI agents regarding a matter unrelated to child pornography. At the conclusion of the interview, NADER was informed of the existence of the search warrant issued by this Court (1:18-SW-30) and the three iPhones were subsequently seized.

[snip]

The three iPhones seized from NADER were then forensically processed pursuant to the search warrant for a matter not involving child pornography. At the completion of the forensic processing, the digital forensic files derived from iPhone 7 with serial number F2LSD2XFHFY4 (“IPHONE 7 FILES”) were made available to the case agent in that other matter for review using a forensic software package specifically designed to allow investigators to review material without risk of changing or altering the evidence.

On February 12, 2018, the case agent for that other matter conducted an initial review of the IPHONE 7 FILES for evidence unrelated to child pornography. During that review, the case agent in that other matter uncovered multiple files which appeared to contain child pornography. The potential child pornography matter was subsequently referred to my office, and the case was assigned to your affiant.

On March 5,2018, the IPHONE 7 FILES were saved to a Seagate Hard Drive Model ST3750640AS with serial Number 5QD502SH. On March 16,2018, Search Warrant 1:18-SW-154 was sworn out in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and signed by US Magistrate Judge John F. Anderson. The attachments to the search warrant specified the property to be searched as “digital forensic files derived from the iPhone 7 with serial number F2LSD2XFHFY4 seized from George Aref Nader on January 17,2018 currently located on a Seagate Hard Drive Model ST3750640AS with serial Number 5QD502SH that is in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in its Northern Virginia Resident Office, 9325 Discovery Boulevard, Manassas, Virginia 20109.” The items to be seized included, but were not limited to, fruits, evidence, and instrumentalities of “child pornography and child erotica.”

The Mueller Report describes most interviews with Nader as being conducted under a proffer agreement.

Nader provided information to the Office in multiple interviews, all but one of which were conducted under a proffer agreement [grad jury redaction].

Footnotes reflect Nader interviews on January 19, 22, 23 — so all would have taken place before a Mueller agent found the porn on February 12.

But the charge was filed against him last April. I thought it was after that point that he was permitted to close up his apartment in DC and travel back to Dubai, where he has been for months.

Which raises questions about whether he was permitted to travel overseas for some reason.

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41 replies
  1. Noah says:

    But why would Nader return to the U.S. at all? Wouldn’t it be obvious to him that whatever was on his phone would be in the FBI’s possession?

  2. harpie says:

    According to both qjurecic and nycsouthpaw, the charging documents are awful to read, and they both recommend NOT reading…so I won’t, but also:
    https://twitter.com/nycsouthpaw/status/1135653624745472000
    2:04 PM – 3 Jun 2019

    I wouldn’t recommend reading the Nader affidavit [link] but it confirms that the charges unsealed today arise from files on iphones seized at IAD on Jan. 17, 2018, which is when the Special Counsel team reportedly stopped him on his way to Mar-a-Lago.

    …made me think of the Li [Cindy] Yang part of the Trumpus Corruptus MEGA-Series.

    • Democritus says:

      I’m gonna second the recommendation, or at least skip over the numbered section that describes the videos.

      These are the people Trump surrounds himself with Nader, Epstein.

      Anyway, earlier I meant to say thanks again for the writers and posters here staying on top of this shitshow.

  3. P J Evans says:

    It seems to me that keeping child porn on any device that can be inspected by law enforcement is a bad idea. It’s no secret that in the last four or five years (at least) they’ve been checking contents of electronic devices, and now they want your account information (including passwords) for all your social media when you want to come to the US.

    • Rayne says:

      I must say the timing of the announcement that DHS would demand 5 years of social media and Nader’s detainment are rather serendipitous. What a coinky-dink. I doubt the public at large will grasp the nearly 18 months between the seizure of devices and the arrest today. Hmmm.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Fundamentally though it seems to me that this impeaches Nader’s value as a witness for Mueller’s report discussion on the Seychelles meeting. As Rayne said, quite the coinkydink that Nader came back now (why?) and carrying something really nasty on a drive knowing he would be subject to a thorough search. I do smell a setup (or a plant) by Kaiser Quisling and the Palace but Nader is an idiot for believing them. We’ll see how Nadler does with his hearings beginning next week on Mueller’s report covering the Seychelles topic.

        OT but part of the Palace BS, I was not amused to see chickenhawk Mick the Knife Mulvaney opine about how it wasn’t “much of an ask” to hide DDG 56 (USS John S. McCain, which I should point out was not named only for the Senator) before throwing some unnamed 20-something staffer under the bus without punishing them (like going to bed without supper?). Shanahan’s right to push back, but frankly 7th Fleet (VADM Sawyer) and ComDesRon 15 (CAPT Duffy) should have told KQ and his palace to pack sand on trying to fiddle with ship’s movements. However, I would not be surprised to find some LCDR (looking for a ship command) or CAPT (looking for a flag) chief of staff playing some political gamesmanship for the upcoming promotion boards. At that level it becomes very cutthroat for the plum jobs and no leverage would be wasted. Unfortunately for them, “judgment” is also part of the fitrep and this blowback will hurt their future considerations, aw shucks. Another black eye for 7th Fleet and craven brown-nosing like this is never a hit with the sailors. They have ways of pointedly making their feelings known (like the time someone dumped a load in a grandfather clock being transported for an admiral when the crew could not bring stuff home from deployment, even though it was under guard).

      • P J Evans says:

        That’s certainly the best way. But if you must have it on a phone, use a dedicated burner phone, and break and toss it in the deepest water you can find before coming back to the US.

  4. e.a.f. says:

    how stupid are these people, going through customs with child porn on their phones or perhaps felt just so entitled. Wonder if Trump will try to pardon him?

  5. Anvil Leucippus says:

    “The items to be seized included, but were not limited to, fruits, evidence, and instrumentalities of child pornography” — WAIT, WHAT? He brought in pedophile porn AND fruits?! Well, if you didn’t think this asshole was a monster just on the porn alone, the fruit thing seals it. Put him away.

  6. 40water says:

    Does this count as one of the 14 cases referred by Mueller?

    This case technically wasn’t under seal by Mueller’s team, but Barr is still duplicitous af.

    Wonder if anyone else in the Trump ecosystem will receive a now-unsealed indictment for a non-collusion crime upon arriving to the US. Don’t think there many candidates, as iirc Prince has been home since he turned over his devices

    – Nader: possession of child porn, acting as an agent for Saudi Arabia and UAE (MBS and MBZ) to lobby US for anti-Qatar policy and defense contracts. Expected cash, received cash
    – Broidy: allegedly lobby for sanctioned bank VTB, acting as an agent for Saudi Arabia and UAE (MBS and MBZ) re military contracts to lobby US for anti-Qatar policy and defense contracts. Expected cash, received cash

    https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/the-billion-dollar-scheme-to-get-trump-to-punish-qatar-for-the-saudis-1.6111341 <- pretty good article on Broidy and Nader's scheming, also discusses the role Kushner (The Clown Prince) had and has in attempting to influence the Middle East

    Qatar showed signs of cooperating with Mueller's team, then suddenly clammed up, and eventually Brookfield aka QIA "accidentally" invested ~1 bil in Kushner's 666 5th ave.

    What did Qatar get out of this deal?

  7. maz says:

    With a couple of exceptions, the videos sound more like outtakes from some bizarre Arab/redneck ‘Funniest Home Videos’ than child porn. (Or to put it another way, if these are kiddie porn, so is the Coppertone ad….)

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • Rayne says:

      Stop right there. I’m not going to allow you to bait people into trouble. The content IS child pornography. It’s not the first time Nader has been caught and charged with this kind of pornographic material.

    • Democritus says:

      Goats sucking on children’s penis are not outtakes from AFV. Children anally penetrating goats and exposing their genitals is not AFV material.

      Guess we know who NOT to leave the children alone with, surely not someone who minimizes child porn.

      God, what a sick fuck you are.

      • Mazoola says:

        Read my comment: ‘With a couple exceptions….’ Charge the man for the two (actually, three, I guess) clips that fulfill the description of child porn; *don’t* expand the scope to include nonsexual imagery, because that inevitably gets used as a blunt object. Google “Sally Mann” for starters.

        Note: Not trolling, not baiting, and certainly not trying to condone or excuse such behavior — but also not willing to condone overreach by the feds. I realize Nader’s history makes this more troublesome — but do we really want a precedent that says someone can be prosecuted for possession of nonsexual imagery because we know what he’s thinking when he looks at it?

        (Rayne — Sorry for the name mixup — I *hope* this is the one I used originally.)

        • Democritus says:

          Sure, just continue to show both your ass and your ignorance, not what I would do if I was the one defending child predators.

          If you read that list of videos and thought AFV something is broken inside you. Get help.

          • Mazoola says:

            I would think that warning would apply more to someone who read those descriptions (toddler who, startled when his pants split, urinates) and finds them to be sexual. However, the point remains, it doesn’t matter what goes on in your smutty mind — or mine, or even Nader’s: Child pornography is a certain thing, with a finite definition, and most of the videos in the affidavit ain’t it. And no matter how bunched your panties may be about it, everyone — even pedophiles — have the right to expect the government to play fair.

            • P J Evans says:

              They’re still video of illegal acts. Which makes your point pretty much pointless.

            • Rayne says:

              Bullshit. You have a whopping four comments under two usernames here under your belt so and you’re normalizing child pornography? You spent more effort reading the description of the videos than reading the letter of the law which defines child pornography. Get the fuck out.

  8. arice says:

    Seems some here are missing that the devices were seized but not searched until after Nader had left the country. And that he’s been out of the country until he was arrested just now. Did you expect the DOJ to send him a notice in the UAE that he’d be arrested upon return home?

  9. Vicks says:

    Somethings not right…
    Nader had to have known the terms of his deal and that must have included what would happen if he tried to re-enter the United Sates.
    He also had to have known what would happen if he violated the agreement or if there were serious issues the deal did not cover,
    Yet here he is?
    Mueller wouldn’t have made a deal with a pedophile would he?
    If you have the right friends could you use the information in these sealed indictments to punish those you feel have betrayed you?
    Nader either wins the prize for the biggest bonehead of Trump’s crew or there is a lot more to this.

    • Vicks says:

      I should clarify i am assuming Nader at a minimum knew what was on his phone and that child porn is a serious crime

  10. John Paul Jones says:

    WP has a detailed article on Nader which lays out just how many times and in how many jurisdictions (Prague, Cleveland, etc.) he’s been busted for similar offenses and has apparently even done time for ’em. If that’s the case, he likely doesn’t often stop to think about what’s on his phone or his devices because he’s a prisoner of his own impulses rather than just boneheaded.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/figure-linked-to-trump-transition-charged-with-transporting-child-pornography/2019/06/03/caee8aca-862a-11e9-98c1-e945ae5db8fb_story.html

  11. OmAli says:

    I heard on one of the MSNBC programs last evening (or evening before?) that he had returned for medical reasons. No sources or details given.

    • P J Evans says:

      Law enforcement doesn’t care so much about your character if you can tell them what they want to know about someone else they’re after. (See: every informant ever.)

      • Willis Warren says:

        I got that, but most defendants aren’t the PotUS.

        Putting Nader on the stand to testify against Kuschner and Abbe Lowell may not have been up to the 85% standard.

  12. PSWebster says:

    It is not pleasant reading the agent’s video descriptions. But one should never encourage others not to read it. Deviant minds need knowing even if you cannot unknow what you now know. (sorry, stole that from In the Loop by the cursy Scotsman)

    Adjunct: sex workers should have legal right to work. Focking American self-righteousness should be a crime.

    • Rayne says:

      Look, if you’re suggesting in any way that minors can be sex workers, you can fuck all the way off. This post is in zero-nada-no way about legitimate, consenting adult sex work.

      And when someone with very little to no history at this site pops in suggesting the characterized content meeting the legal definition of child pornography is no big deal, I will bloody well treat them with extreme skepticism.

      I will also do what I can to prevent provocateurs from encouraging community members here to go poking around where they may find themselves both tracked without consent and vulnerable to malware and other hostile vectors.

      • PSWebster says:

        Sex workers are adults, not children. Usually referred to as prostitutes.

        Child porno is a big deal and sick…very sick. Prostitutes or sex workers are not sick; they need a job and obviously the demand is huge.

        Try a chill pill. I find this site very informative but you guys are a little sensitive lately. Great work by EW.

        • Rayne says:

          Your original comment was unnecessary with regard to sex workers at all. It’s not germane here and further elaboration on your part isn’t helping.

          If you don’t like the moderation you can use the exit button. We’re not putting up with policing the efforts of contributors/moderators/editors here.

        • P J Evans says:

          Underaged sex workers are *minors* and subject to the laws about sex with minors. (See: Jeffrey E and his parties. Also Russian parties.)
          Also, what Rayne says. If you want to restrict comments, start your own blog.

  13. mospeck says:

    Vicks says:June 4, 2019 at 1:04 am Somethings not right…

    Ever watch that old show “The Wire”? It’s the one where they had the perp boards with the yarn connecting up the faces. And George Nader’s is such an interesting face. Ostensibly, he’s just a bottom of the barrel kid porn nobody. And everybody’s got to be happy that George is going up the river. I know I am. But is some fat man–who looks like the Cheshire cat and reminds of Sidney Greenstreet–maybe now redirecting our hard working USUAs?

    Rayne says:June 3, 2019 at 7:05 pm I must say the timing of the announcement .. What a coinky-dink.
    Noah says:June 3, 2019 at 4:22 pm But why would Nader return to the U.S. at all?
    Rugger9 says:June 3, 2019 at 7:27 pm Fundamentally though it seems to me that this impeaches Nader’s value as a witness for Mueller’s report discussion on the Seychelles meeting
    40water says:June 3, 2019 at 9:49 pm Does this count as one of the 14 cases referred by Mueller?
    P J Evans says:June 3, 2019 at 9:57 pm Saudi protection, I suspect
    emptywheel says:June 4, 2019 at 10:34 am Probably.
    https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/soured-deal-considered-as-mueller-witness-charged-with-child-porn-61215301918
    Would love to see the perp board that they got up at Langley on George :)

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