Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, October 30, 2017

WASHINGTON -- The lobbying firms the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs are the unnamed companies in the grand jury indictment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, according to three sources with knowledge of the investigation.

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The indictment, unsealed Monday, refers to "Company A" and "Company B" as the firms Manafort and Gates solicited in 2012 to lobby on behalf of the Ukranian government. Company A is Mercury Public Affairs and Company B is the Podesta Group, the sources said.

The revelation of the companies' identities points to more details about the players involved in the high-stakes venture run by Manafort and Gates to push the interest of a pro-Russia Ukranian political party inside the United States. It also provides a glimpse into the material special counsel Robert Mueller has corroborated on both companies and the potential legal repercussions both groups could face.

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Tony Podesta, who founded the left-leaning Podesta Group in 1988, stepped down from his position with the firm on Monday morning, an employee told NBC News.

NBC News reported last week that Podesta and the Podesta group had become a subject of Mueller's probe into ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

#1 | Posted by homerj at 2017-10-30 10:11 PM | Reply

The Podesta Group previously withheld from disclosing its work under the Foreign Agents Registrant Act (FARA), claiming they believed the group was not affiliated with the Ukrainian government.

According to the indictment, the lobbying firms were paid $2 million from offshore accounts controlled by Manafort.

#2 | Posted by homerj at 2017-10-30 10:16 PM | Reply

Company A and Company B aren't named in the indictment but have been identified:

Manafort Scheme Paid Lobbyists Millions With Offshore Funds
The indictment doesn't name the lobbying firms. However, two prominent Washington firms -- Podesta Group Inc. and Mercury Public Affairs LLC -- disclosed in an April filing with the Justice Department that they worked for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, which the indictment said is a mouthpiece for Yanukovych.

The Podesta Group, led by Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, was paid $1.2 million for its work for Ukraine, according to its FARA filings. Mercury's lobbying effort was led by Vin Weber, a former Republican member of Congress. The firm disclosed payments of $1.3 million for its Ukraine work. Podesta and Weber each signed the contracts with the Ukrainian center, the FARA filings show.

www.bloomberg.com

#3 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-30 10:20 PM | Reply

I posted more on the Podesta and Weber firms connection to the Manafort/Gate indictiments here:

www.drudge.com

#4 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-30 10:22 PM | Reply

The Podesta group also earned $180,000 lobbying for Russian-owned mining company Uranium One during the same period that the Clinton Foundation was receiving millions from UrAsia / U1 interests.

Hillary Clinton campaign manager and presumed Secretary of State John Podesta also sat on the board of Massachusetts energy company called Joule Unlimited, along with senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and Russian oligarch Ruben Vardanyan – who was appointed by Vladimir Putin to the Russian economic council.

Two months after Podesta joined the board, Joule managed to raise $35 million from Putin's Kremlin-backed investment fund Rusnano.

Not only did John Podesta fail to properly disclose this relationship before joining the Clinton Campaign, he transferred 75,000 shares of Joule to his daughter through a shell company using her address.

ibankcoin.com

#5 | Posted by homerj at 2017-10-30 10:58 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Looks like the Russians tried to buy both parties to control POTUS. Putin couldn't lose.
I guess having a Russian plant as POTUS is fine with some if they pander to the base.

#6 | Posted by bored at 2017-10-30 11:48 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#5 My hackles are standing straight up. John Podesta was the source for much of Hillary's classified-data-on-homebrew-server and now we find out he was knee deep in Russia as well?

#7 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2017-10-31 12:32 PM | Reply

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again:

Trump Really Wants To Deflect Attention From His Russia Scandal

But unlike the emerging details about key figures in Trump's campaign and administration, the story the president sought to push on Podesta's so-called "Kremlin connection" is one he and others have tried to spread since the 2016 election. www.huffingtonpost.com

Did John Podesta Violate Federal Financial Disclosure Laws, Or Nah?

An odd accusation seems more unfair and potentially destructive to the Office of Government Ethics than to Hillary Clinton's former campaign chair. www.huffingtonpost.com

#8 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-31 01:37 PM | Reply

The Podesta Group previously withheld from disclosing its work under the Foreign Agents Registrant Act (FARA), claiming they believed the group was not affiliated with the Ukrainian government.

Which is the exact same excuse that Manafort and Gates used, wonder how that is going to work out for Tony.

Hillary Clinton campaign manager and presumed Secretary of State John Podesta also sat on the board of Massachusetts energy company called Joule Unlimited, along with senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and Russian oligarch Ruben Vardanyan – who was appointed by Vladimir Putin to the Russian economic council.

Two months after Podesta joined the board, Joule managed to raise $35 million from Putin's Kremlin-backed investment fund Rusnano.

Not only did John Podesta fail to properly disclose this relationship before joining the Clinton Campaign, he transferred 75,000 shares of Joule to his daughter through a shell company using her address.

"Nothing to see here, John and Tony weren't even on speaking terms, they have nothing to do with each other..."

-The Hillarybots and MSM

"the MSM, whatever that is"

-Syco

#9 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-10-31 01:38 PM | Reply

#8

Of course he does, that's what desperate people do in DC.

Unfortunately for the Clintons, they and their circle of supporters seem unable to avoid giving Trump ammo to deflect to his heart's content.

#10 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-10-31 01:40 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

My #8 was directed at #5.

#11 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-31 01:41 PM | Reply

Oh, and I guess the 2nd half of #9 as well. I agree the FARA nondisclosure is a problem for Podesta (and possibly Weber).

#12 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-10-31 01:45 PM | Reply

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