The Podesta brothers used to be the big stinky cheeses of Democrat politics. While John Podesta reigned as Hillary’s campaign chair, Tony Podesta nailed down the lobbying contracts through the Podesta Group. These days, John heads up the Center for American Progress while Tony Podesta had a bit of a fall.
Tony Podesta was in line to be king of K Street.
His lobbying firm ended 2015 as the third largest in Washington, D.C., with nearly $30 million in revenue from more than 100 clients, spanning Alphabet Inc.’s Google to Wells Fargo & Co. With his longtime friend Hillary Clinton expected to win the White House, 2016 promised to be even better.
But the Podesta Group was willing to work for anyone.
Early in 2012, Mr. Manafort and his associate Richard Gates, longtime Republican lobbyists, hired the Podesta Group and another firm to lobby on behalf of the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a nonprofit. The Podesta Group registered as a domestic lobbyist for the Centre.
Over the next two years, the Podesta Group was paid more than $1 million for its work, which would later prove to be costly.
In April 2017, the Podesta Group filed a report with the Justice Department acknowledging its work “could be interpreted as principally benefiting a foreign government.” In his February guilty plea, Mr. Gates admitted he had arranged for the Centre to “represent falsely” that it wasn’t supervised by the Ukrainian government.
And Tony will still work for anyone.
First, there was the $1 million to lobby for China’s Huawei which is on a blacklist and has alleged ties to the Communist regime’s cyberwarfare. And now Libya.
Doing business as Podesta.com, Podesta contracted with Tala Elemary Consulting, a Dubai-based consulting firm paid and directed by the Libyan government. The contract, signed by Podesta on April 13, notes that “fees will be negotiated within 30 days.”
Foreign agent registration records indicate that Podesta’s services will “include lobbying US Government Officials in the White House, Congress, as well as the US Media, to maintain political gains in Libya on behalf of Client, promoting a constitutional basis for elections in 2022.”
Podesta will “purposefully liaise with appropriate US Government Departments and Agencies” to “enhance clients interests in the leadership in Libya.”
Libya, Tony? Libya?