Tony Podesta Steps Down From Lobbying Firm Amid Mueller Investigation

Paul Manafort'spent millions of dollars on luxury goods and services for himself and his extended family according to prosecutors. Manafort then Donald Trump's campaign chairman and chief strategist leaves the Four Seasons Hotel after a meeting wit

A central figure in Democratic politics in Washington, Podesta is also the brother of John Podesta, a longtime adviser of Hillary Clinton, her former campaign chairman, and a former adviser to President Barack Obama.

Podesta, described as a "Democratic power lobbyist", is the founder of the Podesta Group.

Amid Mueller's investigation, Podesta announced Monday that he was leaving The Podesta Group, the lobbying firm he co-founded. Fritts and a senior group of the Podesta team will be launching a new firm in the next one or two days, a move reportedly in the works for the past several months.

He told the staff he "doesn't intend to go quietly, or learn how to play golf", Politico reported, citing a source. After the indictment against Manafort was unsealed, Podesta stepped down from his eponymous company. His finances included a campaign for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU), which the Podesta Group worked on.

Manafort and Gates turned themselves in to federal authorities Monday while facing a 12-count indictment on a range of charges, including misleading the government about their secret work for a foreign government.




According to Politico, which first reported the story, Podesta will be handing over full operational and financial control to the company's CEO Kimberly Fritts.

Between 2012 and 2014, the lobbying firms were paid more than $2 million from the accounts, prosecutors said.

The two companies were aware that they were lobbying on behalf of the Ukrainian government and worked with Manafort to hide their foreign lobbying activities from the public, according to the indictment. The firm disclosed payments of $1.3 million for its Ukraine work. FARA requires representatives of foreign governments, political parties and foreign-government controlled organizations to disclose detailed information about their activities, including each contact they make with a government official.

One former Podesta employee, speaking on condition of anonymity because of a non-disclosure agreement, said Gates described the nonprofit's role in an April, 2012 meeting as supplying a source of money that could not be traced to the Ukrainian politicians who were paying him and Manafort.

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