One of the two unnamed companies in the grand jury indictment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, is reportedly the Podesta Group — a lobbying firm with strong ties to Hillary Clinton.
The indictment, unsealed on Monday, lists two unnamed companies — “Company A” and “Company B” — as firms that Manafort and Gates approached in 2012 to lobby for the pro-Putin Ukrainian government. “Company A” is Mercury Public Affairs and “Company B” is the Podesta Group, NBC News reported.
The far-left Podesta Group was founded by Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta, who is the brother of Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman John Podesta. The firm came under fire for not disclosing its work lobbying for the Ukrainian government under the Foreign Agents Registrant Act (FARA).
The indictment indicated that the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs received $2 million from offshore accounts controlled by Manafort for their work lobbying members of Congress about Ukraine sanctions and the validity of Ukraine elections.
Tony Podesta stepped down from the Podesta Group on Monday, nearly 30 years after founding the firm.
“[Tony] was very magnanimous and said, ‘This is an amazing group of people’,” a source told Politico, speaking of Podesta’s remarks. “Podesta also told staff he ‘doesn’t intend to go quietly, or learn how to play golf.’ He said he ‘needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn’t want the firm to fight it.’”