John Podesta: 'I'm the Victim' of Donald Trump's 'Big Lie'

Nov 01, 2017, 00:41
John Podesta: 'I'm the Victim' of Donald Trump's 'Big Lie'

The Podesta brothers founded the firm in 1988, and John left in 1993.

Two unnamed companies were solicited by Manafort and Gates, Manafort's longtime business partner, to engage in lobbying on the Hill on behalf of the Ukrainian government, with the Centre nominally being listed as their client, according to the indictment.

The Podesta Group and another firm, Mercury Public Affairs, were referenced in the indictments, though not by name.

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It has previously been reported that a prominent Democratic-leaning lobbying firm, the Podesta Group, had been involved in the Centre's lobbying, as did a GOP firm, Mercury.

Tony Podesta is the brother of John Podesta, the former campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

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. However, Manafort and Gates both roundly acknowledged that they were in Yanukovych's employ, as did several Podesta employees.

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The Party of the Regions is a pro-Kremlin political base for Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled to Russian Federation three years ago. In what Mueller's team describes as a "scheme", Manafort and Gates put together a PR campaign to rally support in D.C. for Ukraine and its former president Viktor Yanukovych without properly registering with the US government.

"It demands we retract and delete all our prior reporting on the Podesta Group and warns if we don't do this, quote, 'Mr". "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". The Podesta Group insists it was under the impression that it was doing work for a nonprofit to educate American government types about Ukraine, not engaging in a stealth image rehab effort for Yanukovych and his party. The Podesta Group appeared in the special counsel's investigation into Manafort's finances.

The Mueller investigation had initially only delved into the Podesta Group's activities to gather facts on Manafort, whose indictment was announced yesterday, but then began to investigate the Podesta Group itself after it became apparent that it had failed to disclose that it was lobbying in the United States on behalf of a foreign actor, a violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

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The legal problems for Gates and Manafort lie in their failure to declare the work in filings with the Justice Department required under FARA.