George Nader seen in a CNN interview circa 1995.
CNN/FILE
George Nader seen in a CNN interview circa 1995.
Now playing
01:09
Russia probe witness arrested on child pornography charge
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) arrives for a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing with members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) arrives for a House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing with members of the Fort Hood Independent Review Committee on Capitol Hill on December 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
03:02
Sources say Gaetz was denied meeting with Trump
CNN
Now playing
02:58
Avlon: This shows that crazy has a constituency
CNN
Now playing
07:27
CNN anchor pushes back on Texas state lawmaker's defense of voting bill
CNN
Now playing
01:12
Tapper asks Buttigieg for infrastructure plan timeline
Now playing
02:48
GOP governor calls Trump's RNC remarks 'divisive'
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018:  The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Robert Alexander/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, D.C. - APRIL 19, 2018: The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the seat of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Judicial Branch of government. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:39
SCOTUS blocks California Covid restriction on religious activities
rep jim clyburn georgia voting law jim crow sot sotu vpx_00000000.png
rep jim clyburn georgia voting law jim crow sot sotu vpx_00000000.png
Now playing
02:13
Rep. Clyburn blasts GA voting law: It's the 'new Jim Crow'
Joe Manchin
CNN
Joe Manchin
Now playing
02:03
'I never thought in my life ...' Why Manchin won't walk away from bipartisanship
Gaetz speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
Alex Wong/Getty Images
Gaetz speaks to members of the media outside the hearing Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump, testifies at before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform at Rayburn House Office Building February 27, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Last year Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $50,000 fine for tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, unlawful excessive campaign contributions and lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
Now playing
06:11
'Bombastic, antagonistic, unapologetic': A look at Gaetz's political career
Former House Speaker John Boehner attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait of himself on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington.
Michael A. McCoy/AP
Former House Speaker John Boehner attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait of himself on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019 in Washington.
Now playing
02:42
Boehner says Republican colleague held 10-inch knife to his throat outside House floor
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington.
Andrew Harnik/AP
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington.
Now playing
02:05
Biden calls for ban on assault weapons
CNN
Now playing
02:22
Biden: High-speed internet is infrastructure
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:24
Donald Trump breaks his silence on Matt Gaetz
CNN/WLOX
Now playing
01:43
'He says the quiet part out loud': Borger reacts to GOP election official's remark
AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:30
Haberman: Trump had to be talked out of defending Matt Gaetz
(CNN) —  

A Middle East specialist with ties to the Trump White House has arrived in Virginia to face a child pornography charge and will remain in jail before his formal detention hearing, a federal judge said Thursday during a brief court appearance.

George Aref Nader, who informally advised the White House and was a key witness in the Russia investigation, will be back in court on Friday. Nader’s lawyers want a judge to release him from jail, citing a medical condition, though prosecutors have signaled their opposition.

Nader appeared in a khaki jail uniform and appeared to have a medical bracelet on his left wrist. His lawyers previously said he was dealing with complications from recent heart surgery. He answered a few procedural questions in court, speaking softly and mumbling his words.

The hearing was the latest development in a whirlwind week for Nader. He arrived in the US on Monday to receive specialized medical treatment in New York to deal with complications from heart surgery. Instead, he ended up in federal custody on a year-old child pornography charge. He was then driven by FBI agents from New York to Virginia to attend Thursday’s hearing.

The case can be traced back to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Nader was picked up by FBI agents last year after arriving at a New York City airport. While questioning him for the Russia investigation, FBI agents discovered a dozen sexually explicit videos of underage boys, according to court records. He wasn’t charged in the Mueller investigation but federal prosecutors in Virginia secretly charged him with child pornography.

When he returned to the US this week for medical treatment, he was promptly arrested.

The Mueller report mentions Nader in nearly four dozen footnotes, including references to his interviews with special counsel investigators, and other materials, like his emails and text messages. He helped Mueller fill in the pieces about the infamous Seychelles meeting that brought together Trump supporter Erik Prince and a prominent Russian government banker.

The rendezvous in the Seychelles also included meetings with senior officials from the United Arab Emirates. Nader has been a longtime adviser to Emirati officials and has served as a diplomatic go-between for years, brokering meetings with powerful leaders around the world.

Nader pleaded guilty in the 1990s to transporting child pornography. He has also faced similar allegations in the Czech Republic. He hasn’t had a change to enter a plea yet in Virginia.