The DOJ has announced that a California CEO and seven others have been charged in a multi-million dollar conduit campaign contribution case.
National Review reports eight people, including major Hillary Clinton donors and a witness in the Mueller investigation, have been charged in a massive campaign-finance scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.
The individuals conspired to “make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions” valued around $3.5 million in the 2016 election campaign and beyond, according to the announcement. Although the indictment does not specifically name the recipient of the donations, it is clear that the contributions went to groups allied with Clinton’s presidential campaign.
One of those charged, George Nader, is a Lebanese-American businessman who was a witness in the Mueller report. Nader was also caught in 2018 in possession of child pornography, but received partial immunity in exchange for testimony in the Mueller investigation. He faces between 15 to 40 years in prison if convicted on child-pornography charges.
Also indicted on campaign-finance charges was Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja, who hosted a fundraiser for Clinton in Los Angeles in 2016 and who conspired to conceal campaign donations from 2016 to 2018. Khawaja owns an online-payments company used by, among others, debt collectors, offshore gamblers, and pornographers. The company has made numerous campaign donations to both Democrats and Republicans.
Nader also gained access to the Trump administration, meeting with the president on several occasions. Nader has experience in international diplomacy, has served as a diplomatic conduit to the Middle East and Russia, and was an informal adviser to the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates.
Earlier today, an indictment was unsealed against the CEO of an online payment processing company, and seven others, charging them with conspiring to make and conceal conduit and excessive campaign contributions, and related offenses, during the U.S. presidential election in 2016 and thereafter.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant Director in Charge Timothy R. Slater of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.
A federal grand jury in the District of Columbia indicted Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja, 48, of Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 7, 2019, along with George Nader, Roy Boulos, Rudy Dekermenjian, Mohammad “Moe” Diab, Rani El-Saadi, Stevan Hill and Thayne Whipple.
The 53 count indictment charges 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.
Nader is charged with conspiring with Khawaja to make conduit campaign contributions, and related offenses. 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.
According to the indictment, from March 2016 through January 2017, Khawaja conspired with Nader to conceal the source of more than $3.5 million in campaign contributions, directed to political committees associated with a candidate for President of the United States in the 2016 election.
By design, these contributions appeared to be in the names of Khawaja, his wife, and his company. In reality, they allegedly were funded by Nader. Khawaja and Nader allegedly made these contributions in an effort to gain influence with high-level political figures, including the candidate. As Khawaja and Nader arranged these payments, Nader allegedly reported to an official from a foreign government about his efforts to gain influence.
The indictment also alleges that, from March 2016 through 2018, Khawaja conspired with Boulos, Dekermenjian, Diab, El-Saadi, Hill, and Whipple to conceal Khawaja’s excessive contributions, which totaled more than $1.8 million, to various political committees.
Among other things, these contributions allegedly allowed Khawaja to host a private fundraiser for a presidential candidate in 2016 and a private fundraising dinner for an elected official in 2018.
The indictment further alleges that, from June 2019 through July 2019, Khawaja obstructed a grand jury investigation of this matter in the District of Columbia. Knowing that a witness had been called to testify before the grand jury, Khawaja allegedly provided that witness with false information about Nader and his connection to Khawaja’s company. Boulos, Diab, Hill, and Whipple also are charged with obstructing the grand jury’s investigation by lying to the FBI.
Currently, Nader is in federal custody on other charges.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. It merely alleges that crimes have been committed. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office is investigating the case and Deputy Chief John D. Keller and Trial Attorneys James C. Mann and Michael J. Romano of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section are prosecuting the case.