Are Indictments About To Come Down on Tony and John Podesta?
The New York Times on Friday wrote a column bemoaning the fact that John Podesta should be caught up in Robert Mueller’s Russian probe. This article is interesting because it comes on the weekend in which we found that 34 sealed indictments were delivered to the same court hearing the indictment of Paul Manafort and his associate Paul Gates.
Now there is no way of knowing what these indictments are for, or even if hey have anything to do with Mueller’s investigation—there are other investigations out there. Most of the national media is running stories suggesting they may have to do with former campaign advisor, and very briefly tenured, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn—and again, like Manafort, for nothing having to do with Trump or the 2016 election.
However, it is worth noting, that nothing seems to happen in the Mueller investigation, or anywhere else in Washington D.C. without someone leaking information. Before the Manafort indictments were handed down, the information about what was inside those sealed indictments was leaked the same day they were filed. CNN ran the story the same Friday the indictments were delivered, and by the time they were unsealed the following Monday, there had been a whole weekend of discussing Manafort.
So it was interesting to see this article from the Times, in light of all that has gone on regarding the Podesta Group. The weekend that the Manafort indictment was delivered to the court it was leaked to NBC News earlier in the week that Mueller had extended his Russian into the Democratic-leaning lobbying firm led by Tony Podesta, the brother of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman. The inquiry grew out of Mueller’s team looking into the activities of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to the sources.
Manafort had organized a public relations campaign for a non-profit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU). Tony’s company, the Podesta Group was one of many firms that worked on the campaign, which promoted Ukraine’s image in the West. The Associated Press first revealed the pro-Ukraine lobbying campaign in August 2016, while Manafort was still running the Trump campaign. Manafort left the campaign within days.
Manafort’s indictment obliquely referenced the Podesta Group and another firm, Mercury Public Affairs, with which it worked on the Ukraine account, with Manafort. The indictment referred to them as “two Washington, D.C., firms” that were recruited by Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates.
That same week Fox News reported that Paul Manafort was indeed at the center of this investigation, but not because of his ties to Trump. In fact, according to their source, Paul Manafort spent years working for the Podesta Group on behalf of Russian government interests. That relationship extended back to at least 2011 when the source claimed Manafort had dinner in Washington with both Podesta’s, Tony and John, and that Manafort and the Podesta Group then began their extensive lobbying campaign.
John Podesta vehemently denied the allegations, and even threatened to sue Fox if they didn’t retract, which of course they did not.
Well, this week has seen the end of the Podesta Group. It was revealed that it is closing up shop, only a week after Tony had stepped down following the revelations that he was under investigation by Mueller. This brings us to what the Times wrote. Their expose on the brother’s rise to power and influence in the Democrat Party is really a public sympathy ploy for John. What the piece shows though, is that Tony is quite possibly in some serious trouble.
Mr. Podesta’s older brother, Tony Podesta, has been ensnared in the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, into Russia’s meddling in the race and whether it involved any associates of President Trump.
What is intriguing is that the piece spends so much time drumming up sympathy for John, and when the Times quotes Democrats expressing their sympathy for the brothers, the words that are used seem to indicate that John himself may also be on that hot-seat with his brother:
“Sure, the Clinton campaign made some mistakes, but that’s not like representing a dictatorship,” said James Carville, who has known John Podesta for years through Democratic political circles. Mr. Carville said he was less acquainted with Tony Podesta, but added that “by reputation, you can’t put them in the same book. John is one of the straightest guys I know. Everybody says, ‘Can you believe that those guys are brothers?’”
While the media is careful to always try and connect every dot—and any Russian—they can to Trump, this Times article might be an attempt to soften the public blow that is about to get leveled on two major players in Democrat circles by Mueller’s investigation. Sorry, no tears here.
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