Tony Podesta Resigns as Mueller Closes in on Clinton Circle

31 October, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Phil Peters
  • Paul Manafort'spent millions of dollars on luxury goods and services for himself and his extended family according to prosecutors. Manafort then Donald Trump's campaign chairman and chief strategist leaves the Four Seasons Hotel after a meeting wit

Citing multiple sources with knowledge of a firm-wide meeting Monday morning, Politico reported that Podesta - the brother of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta - would hand over control of the firm to CEO Kimberley Fritts.

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.

The indictment said the Centre for a Modern Ukraine was "the nominal client" for Company A and B, when in fact the firms were paid through offshore accounts associated with entities owned or controlled by Manafort and Gates.

And just this afternoon it was reported by Politico that Tony Podesta will be stepping down from the firm he founded. The move comes after it was revealed last week Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating him as part of the larger probe into the 2016 presidential election. Further, the source added that Podesta said he "needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn't want the firm to fight it". Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, was indicted on 12 counts Monday.

"At the direction of Manafort and Gates, Company A and Company B engaged in extensive lobbying", according to the indictment. Manafort and Gates selected the lobbying firms in February 2012 and the center signed contracts with the firms without ever meeting either one, according to the indictment.

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Mueller is digging into whether the Podesta Group violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act that requires companies that lobby on behalf of foreign governments to file disclosures with the Justice Department.

Neither Podesta nor The Podesta Group immediately responded to CNBC's requests for comment. That same nonprofit, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, worked with Manafort.

What is clear is that Tony Podesta's organization played a large role in the lobbying activities at the basis of Manafort's indictment and that his firm is apparently guilty of at least one of the crimes Manafort was arrested for today.

Manafort and Gates surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday, as 12 felony counts against the pair were unsealed.

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