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Feds: Mueller witness conspired to conceal donations

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors have charged several people, including a Lebanese-American businessman who was a witness in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, with conspiring to conceal excessive campaign contributions during the 2016 presidential election.

The Justice Department announced the charges Tuesday evening against eight people, including George Nader, a businessman who provided grand jury testimony to Mueller about his efforts to connect a Russian banker to members of Trump’s transition team. He was already facing unrelated charges accusing him of transporting a dozen images of child pornography and bestiality.

Prosecutors said Nader conspired with 48-year-old Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja to conceal the source of more than $3.5 million in campaign contributions to political committees associated with a political candidate in the 2016 race.

Prosecutors allege the two men made the contributions to gain influence with the candidate and other high-level political figures. They say Nader also told an official from a foreign government about those efforts.

Six others are also charged in the case.

Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press

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