by Daniel John Sobieski
There is more to this story than the legacy media has been willing to report to this point
If Paul Manafort is guilty of failing to register as an agent of a foreign government, something that occurred when Manafort was not running the Trump campaign, then so is Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton campaign manager, who is also up to his eyeballs in collusion between the Democrats and Hillary Clinton and Russia and Ukraine:
One of Washington's most powerful lobbying firms did not disclose the wide extent of its lucrative political work for a Ukrainian group tied to both onetime Trump adviser Paul Manafort and to pro-Russian politicians, new records show.It is easy to forget in the hyperventilation by the legacy media that it was Paul Manafort’s efforts on behalf of the Podsta Group, not Trump, that caused Special Counsel Robert Mueller to expand his investigation to include the Podestas and their group and that Manafort’s alleged crimes do not involve work for the Trump campaign:
The firm, the Podesta Group, said nothing in a 2012 lobbying report to Congress about at least 32 meetings, emails and other communications it had with the State Department, at a time when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was scrutinizing Ukraine's upcoming election, records show.
The new disclosures shed light on the web of contacts between Russian-leaning Ukrainians, Washington lobbyists and U.S. policymakers during the Obama administration. The Podesta Group filed new, detailed lobbying disclosures in April to augment lobbying reports from 2012 to 2014 that had given little detail. The firm is run by Tony Podesta, whose brother, John, is a longtime adviser to Clinton and was chairman of her 2016 presidential campaign. John Podesta was a senior counselor to President Barack Obama in 2014 and had previously been lobbying partners with his brother. He is not currently affiliated with his brother's firm.
The Podesta Group was representing a Ukrainian nonprofit, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, as it sought to counter the Obama administration's critical stance toward Ukraine's pro-Russia government and Congress' growing annoyance with Ukraine's leaders.
A thus-far-reliable source who used to be involved with Clinton allies John and Tony Podesta told Tucker Carlson that press reports appearing to implicate President Trump in Russian collusion are exaggerated. The source, who Carlson said he would not yet name, said he worked for the brothers' Podesta Group and was privy to some information from Robert Mueller's special investigation.Well, isn’t that special? We must not overlook Hillary Clinton’s and the DNC’s collusion with Ukraine that led to the interest in Manafort and John Podesta’s shady dealings regarding Russia and the Ukraine.
While media reports describe former "Black, Manafort & Stone" principal Paul Manafort as Trump's main tie to the investigation, the source said it is Manafort's role as a liaison between Russia and the Podesta Group that is drawing the scrutiny...
The source said the Podesta Group was in regular contact with Manafort while Hillary Clinton was America's chief diplomat…
During this time, the Uranium One deal was being facilitated by the White House.
According to Carlson, "Manafort was clear that Russia wanted to cultivate ties to Hillary" because she appeared to be the presumptive 45th president.
The announcement that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating Tony Podesta, the brother of former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, and the Podesta Group and its connections with Ukraine shows that even Robert Mueller and his team of Democratic donors and operatives sometimes going where the evidence really leads:
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.There is more to this story than the legacy media has been willing to report to this point, including John Podesta’s dealings with Russia and Hillary and the Democratic Party’s collusion with Ukraine to slime Team Trump. John Podesta is the doofus whose password was found to be “password” in the Russian hacking investigation and may have violated federal disclosure laws for not disclosing he was paid to sit on the board of various Russian entities:
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.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, may have violated federal law when he failed to fully disclose details surrounding his membership on the executive board of Joule Unlimited and the “75,000 common shares” he received. The energy company accepted millions from a Vladimir Putin-connected Russian government fund.John Podesta’s dealings with Russia warrant serious and immediate Congressional inquiry as well as the Podesta Group’s dealings with Ukraine. It is Podesta, not Paul Manafort, that colluded with foreign governments to enrich themselves while colluding to derail Team Trump:
Podesta joined the executive board of Joule Unlimited Technologies -- a firm partly financed by Putin’s Russia -- in June 2011 and received 100,000 shares of stock options, according to an email uncovered by WikiLeaks. Podesta’s membership on the board of directors of Joule Unlimited was first revealed in research from Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large and Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President Peter Schweizer.
Podesta never disclosed his position on Joule Unlimited’s board of directors and failed to include the stock payout in his federal financial disclosures, as required by law, before he became President Obama’s senior adviser in January 2014 -- a possible violation for federal law, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group (The DCNF).
During a heated Fox Business interview with Maria Bartiromo, Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chief John Podesta made a series of misleading statements when questioned about his involvement in a company that received $35 million from the Russian government while Clinton served as secretary of state.Oh, what tangled webs Team Clinton have woven: If you want real collusion with a real trail of evidence of people trying to do real things interfering with the 2016 campaign, try Hillary Clinton’s real collusion with the Ukraine to derail and besmirch Team Trump. As Politico reported in a story that went nowhere at the time:
On Jan. 18, 2011, a small green-energy company named Joule Unlimited announced Podesta’s appointment to its board. Months later, Rusnano, a Kremlin-backed investment fund founded by Vladimir Putin, pumped $35 million into Joule. Serving alongside Podesta on Joule’s board were senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and oligarch Ruben Vardanyan, who has been appointed by Putin to a Russian economic modernization council…
WikiLeaks documents reveal that when he joined the Obama White House, Podesta transferred his Joule shares to an LLC controlled by his adult children. He also resumed communicating with Joule and Joule investors after leaving the White House and joining Clinton’s campaign…
There’s also this inconvenient fact: In 2016, Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, where Joule board member Reuben Vardanyan formerly served as head of its investment banking division, had a $170,000 lobbying contract with the Podesta Group -- which is owned by John Podesta’s brother, Tony Podesta.
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.Here you have a meeting between a DNC operative in a foreign embassy receiving materials used to defame and derail the Trump campaign. This meeting had real consequences other than in the case of the Trump meeting of boring its participants to death.
A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort’s resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump’s campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine’s foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia’s alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.
An indictment of Manafort while the Podestas and Team Clinton roam free after their real and treasonous collusion with Ukraine and Russia in the Uranium One scandal would be a scandal unto itself. It would be like giving a parking ticket to the bank guard while letting the bank robbers escape with the loot.
Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.
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