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John Podesta: I'm the victim of a 'big lie campaign' by Trump

John Podesta: I'm the victim of a 'big lie campaign' by Trump

Identified in Monday's indictment of Manafort and Rick Gates only as Company A and Company B, the firms were hired to lobby in the USA for Ukraine and the country's former president, Viktor Yanukovych, who is an ally of Russia's Vladimir Putin. 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.

Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman John Podesta, has stepped down from his namesake lobbying group citing the current news environment, according to a source familiar with the situation. As special counsel, Mueller has been tasked with investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

"Mr. Podesta, a garrulous, gravelly voiced man known for his bold neckwear, is part of the elite group of lobbyists atop the industry who move easily between black-tie fund-raisers on Embassy Row and closed meetings on Capitol Hill".

On Monday morning, Special Counsel Robert Mueller officially issued the first charges in his ongoing investigation into the 2016 presidential election. In what Mueller's team describes as a "scheme", Manafort and Gates put together a PR campaign to rally support in D.C. for Ukraine and its former president Viktor Yanukovych without properly registering with the US government.

Among the allegations is that they did not properly disclose the lobbying work under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law that is nearly never used to bring criminal cases.

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Podesta "was very magnanimous and said, 'This is an awesome group of people, '" a source told Politico, recalling Tony Podesta's remarks.

The investigation into Podesta and his firm initially started when Manafort's finances were examined by Mueller's unit. She added: "The Podesta Group has fully cooperated with the Special Counsel's office and taken every possible step to provide documentation that confirms compliance with the law". The firm said at the time that it believed its client was a European think tank with no connections to a political party.

Politico's Anna Palmer reported Tony Podesta's resignation from the Podesta Group on Monday. "The ECFMU provided formal certification that it was neither funded by nor directed by a government or political party".

What Trump seems to be doing in his tweets is trying to wrap Manafort, Tony Podesta and John Podesta into one big ball of corruption.


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