Tony Podesta Resigns from Podesta Group Amid Manafort Indictment
Powerhouse Democrat lobbyist Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group, has resigned from his own firm amid investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. Podesta’s resignation comes on the heels of the indictment of Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman to President Donald J. Trump. Manafort was indicted on several federal charges including money laundering, making false statements to federal authorities, and failing to disclose overseas bank accounts.
According to Politico, the investigation into the Podesta Group, “grew out of investigators’ examinations of Manafort’s finances.” Mueller, of course, has been investigating the Trump campaign for months regarding alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential campaign.
The obvious tie between Manafort and the Podesta Group is the non-profit “European Centre for a Modern Ukraine,” described six days ago by a Fox News source as a “shell group for the Russians,” for which Manafort organized a public relations campaign. The Podesta Group is one of the firms hired to lobby on behalf of the non-profit in D.C. between 2012 and 2014.
Today’s events raise more questions than answers in the grand scheme of the Russia scandal. John Podesta, brother of now-unemployed Tony Podesta, was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, suggesting closer ties between the Clinton camp and Russian influence than have been alleged by the mainstream media and Clinton herself. Clinton has blamed the Russians for her election loss multiple times during her ongoing worldwide book tour.
Podesta told his firm that he “doesn’t intend to go quietly,” and that he “needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn’t want the firm to fight it.” It is unclear what Podesta plans to fight, but it seems likely to be related to Mueller’s investigation.