Convicted pedophile, UAE adviser and central witness in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, George Nader, has pleaded guilty to his role in helping the UAE funnel millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions into US campaigns during the 2016 presidential election, according to The Intercept, citing federal court documents filed last month.
In a December sentencing memo, federal prosecutors disclosed that Nader had agreed months early to plead guilty to a single count of felony conspiracy to defraud the US government by pumping millions in donations to Hillary Clinton’s campaign – concealing the foreign origin of the funds.
Nader conspired to hide the funds “out of a desire to lobby on behalf and advance the interests of his client, the government of the United Arab Emirates,” according to the prosecutors’ sentencing memo. Nader received the money for the illegal donations from the UAE government, the memo said. The filing marks the first time that the U.S. government has explicitly accused the UAE, a close ally, of illegally seeking to buy access to candidates during a presidential election.
Nader’s guilty plea opens a new window into the efforts of the United Arab Emirates and its de facto ruler, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, known as MBZ, to influence the outcome of the 2016 election and shape subsequent U.S. policy in the Gulf. The government’s memo notes that Nader and Los Angeles businessperson Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja also sought to cultivate “key figures” in the Trump campaign and that Khawaja donated $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee. It is unclear where that money came from. -The Intercept
Nader is accused of taking instructions from UAE Crown Prince MBZ, and gave regular updates on his efforts to get close to Clinton.
In total, Nader transferred nearly $5 million from his UAE business to Khawaja – CEO of a Los Angeles-based payment processing company. According to prosecutors, the funds were disguised as a routine business contract between the two men. Of the total transferred, more than $3.5 million came from the UAE government and was given to pro-Clinton Democratic political committees. Prosecutors have yet to publicly identify what happened to the remaining $1.4 million Nader transferred to Khawaja.
In 2016, Khawaja co-hosted an August fundraiser for Clinton which included a laundry list of high-profile guests, including Univision owner Haim Saban, movie mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and basketball legend Magic Johnson, according to the report. According to the indictment, Khawaja conspired with six other individuals to conceal his excessive contributions. Others who were indicted were also linked to donations to Clinton and other Democrats.