Tony Podesta Resignation Follows String of Foreign Lobbying Disclosure Violations

Aaron Brown
November 1, 2017

Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta is stepping down from his lobbying firm Monday after becoming a subject of investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

One former Podesta employee, speaking on condition of anonymity because of a non-disclosure agreement, said Gates described the nonprofit's role in an April, 2012 meeting as supplying a source of money that could not be traced to the Ukrainian politicians who were paying him and Manafort. "If you want something done in Washington, DC, you go to Tony Podesta", his website advertises. He and his brother could Drain The Swamp, which would be yet another campaign promise fulfilled.

Podesta's remarks came after Trump raised questions on Twitter about the lobbying firm that Podesta co-founded with brother Tony and its lobbying ties to Russian Federation.

Both Manafort's firm and the Podesta Group filed FARA registrations for the ECMU work only after the payments were reported by the media previous year.

Start here: Tony Podesta, the guy with the lobbying firm, is the brother of John Podesta, who was chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, chief of staff to then-President Bill Clinton and a major player in Democratic political and policy circles for decades. So far in 2017, the Podesta Group has raked in nearly $16 million in lobbying fees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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Washington, DC-based Podesta made the announcement Monday morning during a full company meeting; after being named in the alleged Russian election meddling probe lead by special counsel Robert Mueller. She and a senior group will be launching a new firm in the next one or two days.

Manafort and Gates attempted to distance themselves from the work of the lobbying firms after press reports in August 2016, according to the indictment.

"The Podesta Group has fully cooperated with the special counsel's office and taken every possible step to provide documentation that confirms compliance with the law", a spokesperson for the Podesta Group told ABC News.

Politico reports that Manafort organized a public relations campaign for a nonprofit organization called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECFMU) which benefited from a political party in Ukraine that Manafort once advised. The firm said at the time that it believed its client was a European think tank with no connections to a political party.

Amid Mueller's investigation, Podesta announced Monday that he was leaving The Podesta Group, the lobbying firm he co-founded. "The ECFMU provided formal certification that it was neither funded by nor directed by a government or political party".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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