Mueller 'foreign meddling' probe expands into UAE campaign-influencing allegations
A shadowy Lebanese-American businessman who serves as an adviser to the United Arab Emirates is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
Mueller, the special counsel, is investigating claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Now the team is looking at claims the UAE funnelled money to Donald Trump's campaign during his successful election bid.
Investigators are reportedly looking into the role of George Nader - a senior political figure behind the scenes in Washington - in possible influencing Donald Trump's Middle East policy.
Nader, 58, has agreed to provide information to Mueller’s investigation into potential collusion and last week gave testimony to the grand jury, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.
It is illegal for Americans to knowingly accept foreign money to fund political campaigns.
The special counsel are examining a meeting Nader attended in January 2017 in the Seychelles convened by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan.
The meeting brought together a Russian investor close to President Putin with Blackwater founder and informal adviser to Trump's team Erik Prince, three days before the president elect took office.
Prince is believed to have been speaking for the Trump transition team while Russian fund manager Kirill Dmitriev represented Putin.
Nader represented the Emirati crown prince during the conversation, the NYT reported.
Another meeting of interest attended by Nader took place in December 2016 between Emirati officials and members of Trump's inner circle.
It was led by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan and included Jared Kushner, Michael Flynn, then slated for national security adviser, and chief Trump strategist Steve Bannon.
There is no indication that Nader is suspected of wrongdoing but his knowledge of key meetings with Emiratis and other key officials could be of help to the special counsel in understanding possible efforts to influence key figures in the Trump administration.