Saturday, 19 January, 2019

Tony Podesta reportedly leaving the lobbying firm he founded amid Mueller investigation

When Trump won the presidential election in November he offered Schiller the position of director of Oval Office Operations Tony Podesta reportedly leaving the lobbying firm he founded amid Mueller investigation
Nellie Chapman | 30 October, 2017, 21:44

Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta stepped down from his firm, the Podesta Group, after he became part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Politico reported on Monday.

Manafort, who served as President Trump's campaign manager for a period last summer, was indicted Friday by Mueller's team for several charges dating back to his work in Ukraine.

Dubbed on of DC's "50 heavy lifters" by the Financial Times and one of "Washington's biggest players" by The New York Times, Podesta turned his once-modest lobbying firm into a heavy hitter.

According to Politico, Podesta and his firm came into Mueller's sights as a result of the work they did in coordination with a PR campaign that Manafort organized for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. The ECMU, however, was in fact supported by the Party of Regions, the pro-Russia political party of the ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, for whom Manafort lobbied in the US. He reportedly told the Podesta Group at a staff meeting he would be leaving, telling staff he "doesn't intend to go quietly" and "needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn't want the firm to fight it".

In a statement last week (via NBC News), a spokesman for the Podesta Group said that the firm, "is cooperating fully with the Special Counsel's office and has taken every possible step to provide documentation that confirms timely compliance".

The Podesta Group worked on a Manafort-led campaign for a nonprofit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine to promote Ukraine to western nations like the U.S.

Podesta handed over the operational reins to firm CEO Kimberley Fritts, according to reports on Monday afternoon.

Podesta "was very magnanimous and said, 'This is an awesome group of people, '" a source told Politico, recalling Tony Podesta's remarks.