Mueller Investigation Moves To Brother of Hillary Campaign Chair

And we aren't even talking Rosatom and Uranium One yet.

Hillary's "Trump is a Russian agent" excuse for losing the election has not aged well. And considering the Podesta Group's Russian lobbying, it was only a matter of time until any investigation of Russian influence would drag them in.

Between the notorious Clinton eagerness to cash in on foreign interests and the sheer number of dubious people on her payroll, opening up the Pandora's Box of Russian influence was always going to end up hurting her more.

Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group are now the subjects of a federal investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, three sources with knowledge of the matter told NBC News.

The probe of Podesta and his Democratic-leaning lobbying firm grew out of Mueller's inquiry into the finances of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to the sources. As special counsel, Mueller has been tasked with investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Manafort had organized a public relations campaign for a non-profit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU). Podesta's company was one of many firms that worked on the campaign, which promoted Ukraine's image in the West.

The sources said the investigation into Podesta and his company began as more of a fact-finding mission about the ECMU and Manafort's role in the campaign, but has now morphed into a criminal inquiry into whether the firm violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA.

From a more non-partisan standpoint, this is the problem with an independent investigation that has no obvious boundaries. Mueller might also figure that if he's going to hit Trump or his people with anything, it's politically wiser to spread some of the pain to political figures close to Hillary. 

The Podesta Group filed a FARA registration for its work with ECMU only after the payments were reported by the media. Manafort's firm also filed a FARA registration after media reports in June disclosed its work in Ukraine from 2012 through 2014.

 But Podesta is a whole lot closer to Hillary than Manafort is to Trump.

Tony Podesta is the chairman of the Podesta Group and the brother of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign chairman. John Podesta is not currently affiliated with the Podesta Group and is not part of Mueller's investigation.