On Monday, Politico reported that Democratic power lobbyist Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group, announced that he is stepping down after coming under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who hit Paul Manafort with a non-election related indictment that included 12 charges.
According to Politico:
The investigation into Podesta and his firm grew out of investigators’ examination of Manafort’s finances. Manafort organized a PR campaign on behalf of a nonprofit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. Podesta Group was one of several firms that were paid to do work on the PR campaign to promote Ukraine in the U.S.
Podesta Group filed paperwork with the Justice Department in April stating that it had done work for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine that also benefited the same Ukrainian political party that Manafort once advised. Podesta Group said at the time it believed its client was a European think tank untethered to a political party.
Podesta has long been a larger than life figure on K Street, growing his business from a boutique firm into a massive lobbying and public relations operation. He is well known for his flashy dressing, vast art collection, generous campaign donations across all levels of Democratic politics and, of course, for his brother John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.
Podesta made the announcement during a firm-wide meeting Monday, Politico said, and will hand over full control to longtime firm CEO Kimberley Fritts.
She also told staffers present that she is “thrilled at this opportunity” and that, “This is not about me, this is about y’all.”
Reaction on Twitter was explosive:
Podesta is a lobbying giant in Washington. His stepping aside — as scooped by none other than @apalmerdc — is huge.
— Jake Sherman (@JakeSherman) October 30, 2017
Pretty sure Tony Podesta is among the top five Swamp Kings of DC
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) October 30, 2017
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) October 30, 2017
One person called it the “K Street massacre”:
In 2016, Markay reported at the Washington Free Beacon:
A high-powered Democratic lobbying firm has admitted to the Department of Justice that it failed to file legally required disclosures of White House advocacy on behalf of a foreign government, new federal filings show.
The Podesta Group this month amended two biannual lobbying disclosure forms from 2014 and 2015 to note meetings and email communications between Tony Podesta, the firm’s principal, and John Podesta, Tony’s brother and a former Obama White House official who chaired Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The amended disclosures came after the Washington Free Beacon reported on the Podesta Group’s apparent violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires foreign government lobbyists to disclose contacts they made with government officials and news media on behalf of their clients.
“The foreign government advocacy in question was undertaken on behalf of the government of India, a Podesta Group client since 2010,” Markay said.
So where’s the indictment? And where’s the indictments for Hillary Clinton?
Good question. Don’t hold your breath, though…
- Mueller’s Non-Election Related Indictment Against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates
- Robert Mueller Impanels Grand Jury in Trump Russia Investigation
- Nancy Pelosi struggles to form sentences, calls Robert Mueller ‘mother’ during…
- Special Counsel Mueller to Investigate Podesta Brothers
- Rosie O’Donnell hopeful Donald Trump arrested, charged by grand jury