This Seems Quite Noteworthy

on June 21, 2017 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Special counsel Robert Mueller (L) arrives at the U.S. Capitol for closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee meets with Mu... WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Special counsel Robert Mueller (L) arrives at the U.S. Capitol for closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee June 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee meets with Mueller to discuss the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS

CNN just moved a story about George Nader. We heard about him last week. He’s a Lebanese-American businessman with some history in Washington. But he’s been sort of off the radar for more than a decade. He was involved in some way as an intermediary between Trump family members and people in the Persian Gulf. Now we hear this from CNN. He was met at Dulles airport by the FBI in January on his return from abroad. “Since then, he has been talking to Mueller’s investigators and providing information to the grand jury.”

Here’s the last paragraph from the CNN story …

Nader attended a December 2016 meeting in New York between Emirati officials and members of Trump’s inner circle, and another in January 2017 in the Seychelles islands between the Emiratis and Erik Prince, a Trump associate. Nader was also in the Seychelles when Prince met with a Russian banker, the sources said.

Almost as a rule, Mueller’s probe just doesn’t leak. It seems likely that this information comes from people tied to Nader, most likely his lawyers.

Late Update: The New York Times has its own, considerably more detailed version of this story. Here’s the more bracing version of the Dulles Airport encounter …

Mr. Nader was first served with search warrants and a grand jury subpoena on Jan. 17, shortly after landing at Washington Dulles International Airport, according to two people familiar with the episode. He had intended to travel on to Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s Florida estate, to celebrate the president’s first year in office, but the F.B.I. had other plans, questioning him for more than two hours and seizing his electronics.

Since then, Mr. Nader has been questioned numerous times about meetings in New York during the transition, the Seychelles meeting and meetings in the White House with two of Mr. Trump’s senior advisers, Jared Kushner and Stephen K. Bannon, who has since left the administration.

I’m still trying to make sense of the various moving pieces in these two articles. But Nader appears to bring together several key pieces of the far-flung Russia probe as well as elements of the story tied the Gulf which were not clearly tied to the Russia probe at all. What is key to note about the Times article is the sheer level of detail. Someone very close to Nader or with incredibly detailed knowledge of his actions and travel spoke to CNN and the Times.

More to come.

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