Manafort indictment leads to Tony Podesta stepping down from the Podesta Group

Hours after former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates were indicted on several counts on Monday, Democratic super-lobbyist Tony Podesta announced that he is stepping down from his firm, the Podesta Group. Tony Podesta is stepping down from his lobbying firm, after scrutiny from Mueller investigation:

That’s no coincidence. According to a report last week by Tom Winter and Julia Ainsley of NBC News, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Manafort’s foreign work before the campaign implicated Podesta’s own foreign work.

Specifically, both Podesta’s and Manafort’s firms represented a Ukrainian nonprofit group — the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine — between 2012 and 2014. This group was attempting to improve the image of the Ukrainian regime at the time, which was pro-Russian and under scrutiny for its treatment of their domestic opposition.

The indictment of Manafort and Gates does not mention the Podesta Group by name, but according to a new report by NBC News it is “Company B” here:

A report from CNN earlier this year described how the Podesta Group repeatedly contacted the State Department about Ukraine’s 2012 election, attempting to put a positive spin on the regime’s handling of the elections. However, and crucially, they didn’t disclose the full extent of their work in federal lobbying filings until earlier this year — and per NBC, that failure to disclose has caught Mueller’s attention. (A Podesta group spokesperson emailed me last week to insist that all appropriate legal disclosures were made.)

Tony Podesta is the brother of John Podesta, who chaired Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. Though they co-founded the lobbying firm at issue — the Podesta Group — decades ago, John Podesta is no longer affiliated with the firm, and there’s no indication that he’s a subject of Mueller’s investigation.

* * *

The revelation that Podesta is under the gun shows, essentially, that Mueller is broadly interpreting his authority to investigate “any matters” that “may arise directly from the investigation” into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.

It seems to make clear clear that Mueller is not only interested in Russia-related wrongdoing committed by Trump allies or Republicans, as some on the right have criticized him for.

Follow the money wherever it leads.

14 Responses to Manafort indictment leads to Tony Podesta stepping down from the Podesta Group

  1. Trump’s back, y’all. Did the meds wear off?

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 41m41 minutes ago

    The biggest story yesterday, the one that has the Dems in a dither, is Podesta running from his firm. What he know about Crooked Dems is….

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 37m37 minutes ago

    ….earth shattering. He and his brother could Drain The Swamp, which would be yet another campaign promise fulfilled. Fake News weak!

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 2h2 hours ago

    I hope people will start to focus on our Massive Tax Cuts for Business (jobs) and the Middle Class (in addition to Democrat corruption)!

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

    The Fake News is working overtime. As Paul Manaforts lawyer said, there was “no collusion” and events mentioned took place long before he…

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

    ….came to the campaign. Few people knew the young, low level volunteer named George, who has already proven to be a liar. Check the DEMS!

  2. This song is dedicated to President Barack Obama…

  3. thank you azbm. most of the media has been not so forthcoming as you. I would like to here liza’s thoughts on this matter.

    • I’ll get back to you, Captain.

    • Well, Captain, it got real yesterday, that’s for certain. I have much respect for Robert Mueller, everything I have observed and read about him has been good. And I believe that we are now at place where we have no choice but to trust that he is doing the job for us, that he will be fair, and that he will put his country above all else.

      As for my own perspective, I just want them to get to the truth and prosecute and convict the guilty ones. I’m really not interested in party affiliations. If we continue losing our ability to hold fair elections, especially at the highest level, then we’ll continue to lose our country and we can forget about our Constitution and a “more perfect union”. God knows we already had enough problems with our elections without the intervention of a foreign country.

      I believe we have to trust Robert Mueller and have his back. Yesterday was a good day for our side, and we can be cautiously optimistic, at least for now. Trump is a problem, of course, corrupt and unpredictable, and that is where most of the danger lies.

      I have a story for you, something I’ve been thinking about recently and especially yesterday.

      (to be continued)

    • Captain, do you remember what you were doing the day that Richard Nixon resigned?

      I was in school that day and I remember being in the “student union” with a horde of students watching this one TV. When Nixon announced his resignation, the crowd cheered and cheered, very enthusiastically. We hated Nixon.

      The next class I had was in political science, the subject was communism, nothing to do with current events. The professor was an older man, probably in his 60s, a good teacher but low key. He didn’t get riled up over things. However, on this day, right after Nixon’s resignation, he was beside himself. He was so happy, it was like he could’ve jumped up on his desk for a dance. And I remember what he said, “The United States Constitution works! It is slow, but the Constitution works”!

      I had followed Watergate, I certainly knew what it was about. But in that moment, watching that old guy, I realized that I had not fully understood what a close call that was, that we effectively dodged a bullet, and that we survived a constitutional crisis.

      Decades later, not much has changed. We’ve taken too much for granted. We naively believe that our government has so many checks and balances that the failure of one component could not possibly wreck the whole of it. So we get careless, reckless even. Sixty three million people decide that one of the nation’s most notorious con men, also a racist and misogynist, would be a good president. Give him a chance, how bad could this be? He’s a billionaire, right?

      So now we’re there again, in a very dangerous place. But now its our turn, its on us, and there is a hell of a lot at stake.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        6 minutes of your time. This happened at Madison Square Garden in 1939.

        The Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, USA.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          • OMG. I didn’t know about this rally.

            Internal threats never get the attention they deserve, it seems. Which, of course, has led to our predicament via complacency and denial. Too many slackers (63 mil).

          • “The Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, USA.”

            The story of the American Nazi Party is generally well known to historians and in hindsight it is hard to understand why it occurred. But in studying it you have to keep some things in mind:

            (1) The Party formed in 1936 when the country was deep in the depression and people were looking for something that would help ease their economic suffering. The American Nazi Party offered hope that things could get better and it used the experience of what the Nazis had done in Germany where they had taken a country that was utterly destitute and began rebuilding Germany into an emerging world power again.
            (2) The sheer depravity and evil of the German Nazi Party was not in evidence at that time and no one anticipated just where Hitler was taking Germany. In hindsight we realize what an utter horror the German Nazi Party was, but at the time, it was just viewed as a success that the American Nazi Party said they would duplicate here in America.
            (3) The American Nazi Party never numbered more than a few thousand people, all of which were of German decent. It was just one of several radical parties that sprang up during this period in history, but it never enjoyed wide spread support.
            (4) When World War Two broke out, the Party was recognized as a threat to the security of the United States and most of it’s leaders were arrested, tried and jailed for sedition and acts against the United States.
            (5) Once the true depravity and evil the German Nazi Party visited on humanity became known, what remained of the American Nazi Party completely folded on itself and did not re-emerge until the mid-1950s as an annoying fringe group that remains with us today.

            Liza is correct when she says that internal threats often do not get the attention they deserve, but hindsight is always 20/20 and the threats they pose are often not clear at the time. To me the greater embarrassment is not the American Nazi Party of 1936…it is the current existence of an American Nazi Party today, after we know what an evil thing it is. Fortunately, the current crop of Nazis are a lunatic fringe group that is loud and obnoxious but not particularly successful.

      • liza I was driving an old garbage truck in north phoenix (it was unincorporated at the time ;but not for long!) the shift linkage would fall off every time I shifted gears and I had to crawl underneath with various fluids dripping down on face to re attach the linkage so I could drive to the next stop. it wasn’t all bad women would get angry with their men and throw all of their cloths in the trash. when the guys would call I had to tell them to go to the dump for it!

        • Ha ha. Well, hopefully when it happens again you’ll be watching it on TV and celebrating with friends.

          Here’s to resignations and impeachments…

  4. For Sure Not Tom

    Lock ’em all up. Republican, Democrat, lock ’em up.