Just over a year ago we wrote about Paul Manafort resigning from the Trump campaign amid outrage over his consulting firm's ties to a lobbying campaign designed to sway American public opinion in favor of the Ukraine's pro-Russsian government (see: FBI Probes Firm Belonging To Brother Of Clinton Campaign Chair For Ukraine Corruption Ties).
The top political news on Friday was the unexpected resignation of Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, which was the result of emerging revelations that his political consulting firm, DMP International, had orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation in the period 2012-2014 on behalf of Ukraine's then ruling political party, attempting to sway American public opinion in favor of the country's pro-Russian government (which was overthrown in a CIA-orchestrated coup in early 2014).
As the AP reported yesterday, the lobbying included attempts to gain positive press coverage of Ukrainian officials in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press. Another goal: undercutting American public sympathy for the imprisoned rival of Ukraine's then-president. At the time, European and American leaders were pressuring Ukraine to free her. Furthermore, under the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act (or FARA), US entities who lobby on behalf of foreign political leaders or political parties must provide detailed reports about their actions to the Justice Department.
Now, fast forward one year and it seems as though an honest attempt to destroy Trump's campaign may ensnare another rather unlikely victim, namely The Podesta Group. As our readers are undoubtedly aware by now, The Podesta Group (PG) was co-founded by Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman, John Podesta, and is still run by his brother, Tony Podesta. Now, according The Daily Caller, PG, one of six lobbying firms that worked on Manafort’s campaign to get Ukraine into the European Union between 2012 to 2014, finds itself directly in the crosshairs of Special Counsel Mueller's Russia probe.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued subpoenas seeking testimony from executives who worked on a campaign organized by Paul Manafort – including the Podesta Group — an NBC exclusive report published Friday revealed.
An executive, whose firm received a subpoena, said Mueller’s team is particularly interested in taking a close look at the lobbying campaign that included the Podesta Group.
“We think they are trying to figure out, was this a legitimate project?” the executive told NBC News. “From our perspective it was — we did a lot of work. We took it seriously.”
The unnamed executive told NBC News that six firms participated in the campaign that Manafort coordinated, which was paid for by the European Center for a Modern Ukraine, a non-profit based in Brussels.
The report states that two groups, the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC, worked in Washington with Manafort’s partner Rick Gates, according to lobbying disclosure records.
All of which puts the deep state and MSM in a rather conflicted position since it's looks increasingly likely that their efforts to expose the Trump administration could turn the spotlight back on their favorite failed candidate and her allies.
Meanwhile, Special Counsel Mueller's interest in PG comes just as the Washington Examiner noted that the firm belatedly filed numerous new disclosures regarding their 'pro-Russia' work.
The Podesta Group belatedly filed multiple new disclosures with the Department of Justice (DOJ) related to their work in the Ukraine during Manafort’s campaign, the Washington Examiner reported on Thursday.
The recent August 17 filings by the Podesta Group include registration statements for six Podesta Group employees and a list of political contributions made by “relevant employees” throughout 2013.
The Podesta Group’s most recent belated filing with the DOJ on August 17 came just one day after Politico reported that a “Ukrainian member of parliament requested a criminal investigation into possible meddling by his country’s government into last year’s U.S. presidential elections.”
What is that saying about people who live in glass houses?