I haven’t been combing news reports with any great efficiency, but every once in a while a news item just makes itself known. Today’s revelation of another Trump associate who has been arrested on child sex crime charges, this time child pornography charges, is all about George Nader. Nader, you might recall, was in the Trump transition team, and part of what he seemed to be especially in charge of then was transitioning our government from one without secret backdoor channels of communication to the Kremlin to one that did have such sub-rosa Putin-Phone capabilities. (I tend to visualize the Putin-Signal as a graphic of Khrushchev pounding his shoe on a podium. Either that, or a big sickle-and-shovel logo.)
This role gave George Nader all sorts of opportunities for travel, like to the Seychelles, and for hob-nobbing with the rich and going-to-be-even-more-famous, like Erik “brother-of-the-unqualified Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos” Prince, as Nader helped broker that meeting Prince had with the Russians about communicating without involving any of the usual protocol that could be tainted by icky and inconvenient “oversight” and “responsibility”. It was just Nader’s rotten luck to apparently have carried some of his hobby videos with him in travel, and there were the Special Counsel guys with a warrant on one of his returns to the country. Ruh roh.
Now, some of our media outlets are putting up headlines of the form, “Mueller investigation witness arrested for child porn”. That sort of headline doesn’t give the right frame for this. Let’s look at Vice’s article on how Nader got nabbed.
The Mueller report mentions Nader in nearly four dozen footnotes, including references to his interviews with special counsel investigators, and other materials, like his emails and text messages.
Prosecutors filed a secret criminal complaint against Nader on January 17, 2018, according to the Justice Department. CNN previously reported that Nader was questioned by the FBI on that date, the first of several sessions with investigators from Mueller’s office.
Investigators seized electronic devices from Nader that same day and had a warrant to search his luggage, according to the Justice Department. The warrants were issued in relation to a “matter unrelated to child pornography,” according to the FBI.
Nader’s arrest warrant was issued and a sealed criminal complaint was filed in April 2018, according to court records. Prosecutors sought to keep it confidential to prevent him from fleeing or tampering with evidence until he was arrested.
According to an FBI affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, the FBI found a dozen graphic pornographic videos of young boys on one of his iPhones.
So the Mueller investigation was the reason that Nader was caught with his pants down. And apparently they let Nader get on with cooperation with their main focus while thinking they hadn’t noted or wouldn’t follow up on the stuff they found, so today likely was quelle surprise for Nader. (Note also, though, that this particular thing did not appear in the Barr-redacted Mueller report, even though it is apparent that the case developed as work product of the Mueller investigation. The Mueller report is in no way a comprehensive report of everything they found. We apparently can look forward to a variety of things Mueller’s team has passed on to other law enforcement entities to emerge as time goes by, as this one has.)
And I want to say a word about the inevitable (but invalid) follow-on criticism of the Mueller investigation, that it is a bad thing that they are relying on sleazeball witnesses to establish things in their work. Well, of course they are relying on sleazeball witnesses. That’s the sort of person who has been welcomed into the Trump orbit and who has been part of the sleazeball stuff that has been going on in it. Angelic persons, first off, are underrepresented around Trump, and who can blame them? A consistent theme throughout both the Mueller investigation and various other investigatory operations, legal and journalistic, that have occurred is the close analogy between Trump’s affiliates and the minions of a mob boss. Everybody is looking to curry favor with the big boss, put his projects on the fast track (except for actually carrying out ordered obstruction of justice; sometimes the minions know the boundaries better than the boss), and be open to the side hustles that arise (Middle East diplomacy that happens to coincide with huge loans to a close aide’s massively over-extended company seem quite a lot of coincidence to swallow, for instance). It’s because, “My God, it’s full of sleazeballs!”, is a thing that we had a Special Counsel investigation in the first place.
Just to make sure I’m keeping track, here’s the list of the Trump-associated (alleged and/or convicted) creepers of the underaged so far outed. Let me know if I’ve overlooked anyone.