Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group and brother of former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, is resigning from his position at the lobbying firm amidst scrutiny from White House Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Fox News reported that Podesta and his company are being investigated by Mueller. The Pedestal Group was one of the companies that worked on a campaign called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, which was led by Paul Manafort and promoted Ukraine’s image in the West.
Manafort, who briefly served as Donald Trump’s campaign manager last summer, was indicted by Mueller on Friday for several charges dating back to his work in Ukraine.
Initial reports say that Podesta will be handing over full operational and financial control to the company’s CEO Kimberly Fritts. A person familiar with the situation said that Podesta sent out an email to his staff in which he explained that he was stepping down because he “needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn’t want the firm to fight it.”
“[Tony] was very magnanimous and said, “This is an amazing group of people,” a source said of Podesta’s comments. He also told staff that he “doesn’t intend to go quietly, or learn how to play golf.”
During his career, Podesta turned his once-modest lobbying firm into a heavy hitter. However, the firm has struggled since Mueller’s investigation began. This year, around half a dozen of its clients have cut ties with the Pedestal Group, which brought in an estimated $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2016.
This comes hours after Manafort turned himself in to Mueller. The indictment against him states that he and his colleague Rick Gates “generated tens of millions of dollars in income as a result of their Ukraine work.”
“In order to hide Ukraine payments from United States authorities, from approximately 2006 through at least 2016, Manafort and Gates laundered the money through scores of United States and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts,” it continues.
Manafort joined Trump’s campaign in March of 2016, but he left it in August of last year as questions about his financial dealings mounted.
It looks like the Podesta brothers may be going down with Manafort after all! What do you think about this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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