Special Counsel Robert Mueller has targeted John Hannah, the former national security advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney who later worked on Donald Trump’s State Department transition team.
Mueller’s team has been investigating the communications and political transactions of Hannah with George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman who arranged meetings between foreign VIPs, Trump’s team and Joel Zamel, who has strong connections to Israeli intelligence, according to sources interviewed by The Daily Beast.
Hannah, Nader and Zamel met with a high-ranking Saudi general before Trump’s inaugural to talk about overthrowing Iran’s government.
It’s another indication that the Mueller investigation has widened its scope beyond Russian interference in American politics.
“Mueller might be opening another front here,” said John McLaughlin, former CIA acting director. “His mandate is to examine Russian collusion, but there’s the clause in his mandate that’s very open-ended—to the effect of ‘and any associated matters.’ It could be a separate line of inquiry about efforts to influence the election by foreigners.”
Hannah, who now works as a senior counselor for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a pro-Israel think tank, has close ties to Nader and Zamel, who have also been questioned by Mueller, according to the The Daily Beast report. Hannah is listed being an advisory council member of Zamel’s Wikistrat crowdsourced consultancy and Hannah worked with Nader on Iraq policy during the George W. Bush administration.
Nader and Zamel are reported to be cooperating with the Mueller probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller’s team has questioned Nader about his relationships with the Trump campaign, Zamel and his ties to high-ranking officials in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Mueller has questioned Zamel about his pitching Trump campaign officials as part of an influence campaign to help the then-candidate win the election in violation of federal election laws.
What's Your Reaction?
Robin Cramer is a News Writer at Hill Reporter. With a degree in journalism and hankering for all things political, she strives to provide balanced coverage of breaking news. You can reach her at Robin@HillReporter.com.