Speed Reads


George Nader is a key figure in the Russia investigation. The House investigation's leader says he's never heard of him.

On Wednesday, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) said he hadn't heard of George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman whose name was splashed on the front page of The New York Times on Sunday and Wednesday for his testimony and reported cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian election meddling in 2016 and possible collaboration with President Trump's campaign. Conaway is the Republican leading the House Intelligence Committee's equivalent investigation.

Nader, an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, set up and attended a January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles between Trump adviser Erik Prince and Russian official Kirill Dmitriev to initiate a secret channel of communication between the Trump team and Moscow, according to the Times. Prince reportedly lied to the House Intelligence Committee about the nature of that meeting. There are a lot of figures in the Trump-Russia investigation, but Nader, who also met with Jared Kushner and Stephen Bannon in Trump Tower, should probably be on Conaway's radar.

"If you're getting the idea that maybe Conaway and his party aren't utterly determined to uncover foul play between Moscow and Trump Tower, your suspicions are warranted," Jonathan Chait suggests at New York. On Tuesday, Conaway said he thinks the House Russia investigation is nearing it's "natural conclusion," and "we're coming toward the end of it." Chait rolled his eyes: "So while Conaway's committee has not forced the witnesses to answer questions Democrats believe they should answer, or even learned the names of major figures in the underlying investigation, there's no arguing with nature. Anyway, it's not like they're investigating something like Benghazi, which took place in 2012 and was still being investigated four years later in a fruitless attempt to establish that the Obama administration deliberately lied."