It's Happening: Clinton Bundler Tony Podesta Steps Down, Dissolves the Podesta Group

Dem lobbyist Podesta steps down amid Mueller scrutiny report
Greg Nash

01 November, 2017

President Trump in a Tuesday tweet said the biggest story on Monday that has the "Dems in a dither" wasn't the indictment against his former campaign manager in the Russian Federation probe but a top Democratic lobbyist stepping down from his firm.

"He and his brother [John Podesta] could Drain The Swamp, which would be yet another campaign promise fulfilled", Trump tweeted.

John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman, testified in the House Russia investigation but is unaffiliated with the Podesta Group.

"[Tony] was very magnanimous and said, "This is an incredible group of people", a source said of Podesta's remarks".

A representative for the Podesta Group said the firm initially did not disclose its work with the ECMU to the FARA officials because the nonprofit "had certified that it was neither funded nor directed by a foreign government or political party", according to NBC News. His decision to step down is a significant effect of Mueller's probe, but he's drawn outsize interest on the right because he's the brother of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Mercury LLC, another Washington, DC-based lobbying firm that allegedly works with the Podesta Group, said Monday that it is cooperating with Mueller's team.

Trump did not say what specifically he thinks Podesta knows or how it affects the special prosecutor's case.

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Last week, three sources told NBC News that Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group had fallen under the purview of Mueller's investigation, due to their connections to Manafort's finances.

Both Tony Podesta and Manafort have been accused of failing to comply with the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a regulation requiring Americans working for foreign leaders, political groups or governments to disclose their activities to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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.

"Podesta's lawyer wasn't trying to inform us of anything, but to threaten us-to shut down our reporting on his client", Carlson said.

"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", a spokesperson for the Podesta Group told ABC News. It subsequently amended its required filings.

The indictment on Monday did not name the Podesta Group or Mercury, instead referring to them as "two Washington, D.C., firms" that were recruited by Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates "to lobby in the United States on behalf of Yanukovych, the Party of Regions, and the government of Ukraine".

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