A convicted sex offender—who was a frequent visitor to the White House during President Donald Trump’s first year in office—pleaded guilty to criminal charges that he helped the United Arab Emirates (UAE) pump over $3.5 million worth of illegal campaign contributions into Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who was granted immunity for information as a witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into 2016 Russian interference, conspired with Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja, 48, of Los Angeles, California —the CEO of a California-based credit card processing company— to make conduit campaign contributions and related offenses.
Khawaja, who is a fugitive, also donated $1 million to the Trump inauguration.
In the image above, George Nader is seen posing for a picture with President Donald Trump at a Republican fundraiser in Dallas on Oct. 25, 2017.
A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia indicted Nader and Khawaja on Nov. 7, 2019, along with Roy Boulos, Rudy Dekermenjian, Mohammad “Moe” Diab, Rani El-Saadi, Stevan Hill and Thayne Whipple.
That 53 count indictment charged Khawaja with two counts of conspiracy, three counts of making conduit contributions, three counts of causing excessive contributions, 13 counts of making false statements, 13 counts of causing false records to be filed, and one count of obstruction of a federal grand jury investigation.
Boulos, Dekermenjian, Diab, El-Saadi, Hill, and Whipple are charged with conspiring with Khawaja and each other to make conduit campaign contributions and conceal excessive contributions, and related offenses.
A December sentencing memo disclosed that Nader agreed to plead guilty to a single count of felony conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government by funneling millions in donations to Clinton’s campaign and concealing the funds’ foreign origin. Nader’s plea was not previously reported.
Nader served as an adviser to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and as a consultant to Blackwater founder Erik Prince, the brother of Trump Education Secretary Betsy Devos.
In January 2018, special investigators questioned Nader in connection to suspicions that the UAE had been involved with Trump’s 2016 campaign.
In August 2016, Nader met at Trump Tower with Prince, Donald Trump Jr., and Joel Zamel, an Israeli entrepreneur and specialist in social media manipulation, to offer help to the Republicans win the election. After Trump’s victory, Nader paid Zamel close to $2 million.
Nader attended a December 2016 meeting in New York between the United Arab Emirates officials and president-elect Donald Trump’s associates Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, and Steve Bannon.
In January 2017, Nader was at a meeting on the Seychelles islands between the Emiratis and Prince, and was present when Prince met with officials from the UAE and Kirill Dmitriev, head of state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund.
Working with Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy in 2017, Nader funded a conference criticizing Qatar that was hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. At the time Nader and Broidy were pushing the White House to remove Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom the Saudis and Emiratis saw as insufficiently tough on Iran and Qatar.
Nader has had several run-ins with the law over the years related to the sexual abuse of children. He was convicted in the 1990s of transporting child pornography publications, and imprisoned in 2003 for sexually abusing ten boys in the Czech Republic.
He pleaded guilty in early 2020 to flying a 14-year-old boy from Europe to the US for sex, and transporting pornography depicting child sexual abuse and bestiality.
President George H. W. Bush’s administration used Nader to help free American hostages in Lebanon after the Iran–Contra affair.
During the Clinton Administration, Nader tried unsuccessfully to broker an Israeli–Syrian peace agreement, working with Estée Lauder heir Ronald Lauder.
Khawaja was separately charged with conspiring to deceive banks and credit card companies into processing more than $150 million in credit and debit card payments on behalf of merchants involved in prohibited and high-risk businesses, including online gambling, debt collection, debt reduction, prescription drugs, and payday lending, according to an indictment unsealed in Boston.
Charged with Khawaja on those crimes were Thomas Wells, 74, of Martin County, Florida; Mohammad “Moe” Diab, 45, of Glendale, California; and Amy Ringler Rountree, 38, of Logan, Utah.