The abrupt and jarring resignation of Tony Podesta from the influential Democratic lobbying operation, “The Podesta Group,” has sparked a firestorm of speculation about Podesta’s place in Mueller’s Russian Interference investigation.
Tony Podesta is the brother of John Podesta, Obama’s former chief of staff and Hillary’s campaign chairman during her humiliating run against Donald Trump. Tony’s resignation comes after news that he failed to disclose work that his lobbying group did for foreign entities – an oversight that has potentially roped him into Robert Mueller’s Russian Influence Investigation.
Podesta’s decision to leave the Podesta Group was announced to the firm on Monday morning, as the inside source reported, and came a week after it was that revealed that the government was investigating whether Podesta had violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires the individuals that lobby for the foreign entities to disclose their activities to the Department of Justice.
The inquiry is centered around the Podesta Group’s work for the “European Centre for a more Modern Ukraine”, which was not disclosed to the Justice Department until after the payments from the group to Podesta’s firm were leaked by the press. The Podesta Group had been hired by the ECMU for a public affairs campaign that was put together by Paul Manafort, who was indicted on Monday morning over failure to disclose foreign lobbying activity, and a host of other charges.
Podesta had vowed that he would “fight” back against all these accusations of wrongdoing, but this is not the first time that Tony Podesta has ran afoul of the law.
Only last year, Podesta had to admit to the Department Of Justice that he had failed to disclose the meetings that he had put together between the government of India, a Podesta Group client, and his own brother John Podesta, and the with a senior counselor in President Obama’s White House. Both Tony and John Podesta, who had worked on these issues pertaining to India for the administration, met with the Indian ambassador to the United States in the West Wing in August 2014. The brothers had also sent certain emails to each other about India, which were not fully disclosed.
Podesta had only disclosed the meetings and emails after they was discovered by different news sources, which were initially reported as the apparent FARA violation in October of last year.
He had filed the amended disclosures just after the electoral campaigns and the results. Tony Podesta, during the electoral campaign was a top fundraiser for the Clinton campaign, which was also chaired by his brother.