Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Tony Podesta Departs From Lobbying Firm Amid Mueller Probe

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort indicted as part of Russia election probe: NYT Ex-Trump aide Paul Manafort `turns himself inĀ“ amid Russia probe
Lillian Steele | 31 October, 2017, 00:50

The Podesta Group's work for the center, which attested that it was not funded or directed by a foreign government or political party, was in support of Ukraine's admission to the European Union, according to the statement.

Flying a bit under the radar given the indictments of Trump campaign staffers, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly been closing in on Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta.

"[Tony] was very magnanimous and said, "This is an wonderful group of people", Podesta reportedly told staff he "doesn't intend to go quietly, or learn how to play golf", and that he "needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn't want the firm to fight it".

Podesta and his lobbying firm were subjects of a federal investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The Podesta Group failed to disclose its ties to a lobbying effort organized by Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, that was backed by the pro-Russia Ukrainian political party of the ousted President Viktor Yanukovych.

Podesta likely stepped down because he didn't want to inconvenience the firm any more-the Podesta Group has lost several clients and revenue streams since the Mueller investigation began.

It's unclear how much the Podesta Group or its principal founder knew about the funding for the client they represented.

"Manafort repeatedly communicated in person and in writing with Yanukovych, and Gates passed on directions to Company A and Company B", the indictment states. Among other things, they lobbied multiple Members of Congress and their staffs about Ukraine sanctions, the validity of Ukrainian elections, and the propriety of Yanukovych's imprisoning his presidential rival, Yulia Tymoshenko (who had served as Ukraine President prior to Yanukovych).

The Podesta Group worked on a Manafort-led campaign for a nonprofit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine to promote Ukraine to western nations like the U.S.

In the indictment unsealed this morning, Manafort has been charged with violating FARA after failing to register as a foreign agent. According to Monday's indictment, the center was created in 2012 and used by Manafort, Gates and others to conduct a public relations campaign in the US and Europe on behalf of the Yanukovych regime. During that period, Podesta and Mercury disclosed receiving payments from the center totaling $893,000, according to their FARA filings.

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