Tony Podesta bails on lobbying firm amid Mueller probe

Saul Bowman
November 1, 2017

A big-shot lobbyist and Democratic donor has gotten caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation because of his firm's ties to the lobbying organization led by President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

For most news outlets, the first indictments in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation was the biggest story of the day, but on Monday evening right-wing sites like Breitbart, Drudge, and the Daily Caller were more interested in the resignation of powerful Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta.

News reported that Tony Podesta's firm is the "Company B" mentioned in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

"The biggest story yesterday, the one that has the Dems in a dither, is Podesta running from his firm", tweeted the President of the United States on Tuesday morning. What he know about Crooked Dems is.

"He and his brother could Drain The Swamp, which would be yet another campaign promise fulfilled", he wrote.

Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to a 12-count indictment. Manafort turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday, after being indicted on 12 counts, among which were "conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts".

"At the direction of Manafort and Gates, Company A and Company B engaged in extensive lobbying", according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, Manafort began his work for the Party of Regions, led by Viktor F. Yanukovych, in 2006.

But in the wake of the Mueller investigation the Podesta Group has struggled. He reportedly told staff he "doesn't intend to go quietly, or learn how to play golf", but rather he "needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn't want the firm to fight it".

Dubbed on of DC's "50 heavy lifters" by the Financial Times and one of "Washington's biggest players" by The New York Times, Podesta turned his once-modest lobbying firm into a DC heavy hitter.

About a half dozen of its clients have cut ties with the firm this year. So far in 2017, the Podesta Group has raked in nearly $16 million in lobbying fees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Politico's Anna Palmer reported Tony Podesta's resignation from the Podesta Group on Monday. "Podesta may pursue legal action, including for damages, in order to fully protect his rights, '" Carlson said on his Monday show.

Manafort had organized a public relations campaign for a non-profit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU).

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