We’ll see if Robert Mueller’s ‘Special Council’ starts issuing indictments for the real collusion.
Democratic power lobbyist Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group, is stepping down from the firm that bears his name after coming under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Podesta announced his decision during a firm-wide meeting Monday morning and is alerting clients of his impending departure.
Podesta is handing over full operational and financial control to longtime firm CEO Kimberley Fritts, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the meeting. Fritts and a senior group of the Podesta team will be launching a new firm in the next one or two days. Sources said the transition has been in the works for the past several months.
Tony Podesta was also paid a $170,000 Bribe by a Russian bank to convince Obama to end sanctions.
After more than a year of reports indicating the Podesta Group’s work for a pro-Russia Ukrainian think tank was not properly disclosed to the Justice Department, on Monday news broke that special counsel Robert Mueller has opened a federal criminal investigation into the firm’s conduct.
Mueller’s probe of the firm grew out of the special counsel’s investigation into ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to NBC News, which was first to report the story.
Over the past 14 months, several outlets have published thorough reports on the Podesta Group’s retroactively disclosed work on behalf of the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a Brussels-based think tank with ties to Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions, but most have failed to adequately note Tony Podesta’s ties to Hillary Clinton.
For instance, extensive reports in both CNN and the AP noted Tony’s brother John Podesta, co-founder of the Podesta Group, served as chairman of Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign (though he was no longer affiliated with the firm by the time period in question). But, crucially, along with NBC News, neither outlet noted that Tony himself was involved with that campaign.
As I noted last April, by July of 2016, Tony Podesta had raised $268,000 for Clinton’s campaign. He donated $34,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund, according to FEC records. Clinton’s campaign website listed him among its “Hillblazers,” described as “individuals who have contributed and/or raised $100,000 or more for Hillary for America, the Hillary Victory Fund, and/or the Hillary Action Fund” since the campaign’s launch. He also donated $33,400 to the DNC over the course of the 2016 cycle.
Given that his firm was actively lobbying Clinton’s State Department — and failed to disclose the extent of that lobbying until 2017 — Tony Podesta’s connection to her campaign is a relevant detail.