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Special Counsel Investigation Now Focusing on Left-Leaning Podesta Group

John Podesta

John Podesta

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the presidential election now includes the Democratic-leaning Podesta Group.

The group is led by Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta.

Mueller is looking at the group’s dealings with a Ukrainian-linked firm, NBC reports

The focus on the Podesta Group stems from Mueller’s investigation of Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman.

NBC wrote:

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.

Under FARA, people who lobby on behalf of foreign governments, leaders or political parties must file detailed disclosures about their spending and activities with the Justice Department. Willful failure to file the forms is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison, though such prosecutions are rare.

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.


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