Both presidential candidates now have connections to an FBI and DOJ investigation of ties to the alleged corruption of the former pro-Russian president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych.
The Podesta Group, headed by Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta is being investigated for its relationship with the Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a not-for-profit organization linked to Yanukovych which Manafort introduced them to. The Centre for a Modern Ukraine told the Podesta group it was not supported by any foreign governments or parties.
The investigation is also targeting the firm of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who resigned from Donald Trump's campaign Friday. Manafort worked for Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. The New York Times revealed secret ledgers discovered in Kiev earmarked a total of $12.7 million in cash payments for Manafort, who asserted he never received any such money and has protested that his work did not trigger disclosure under the U.S. foreign lobbying law, the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).n
CNN reported that The Podesta Group issued a statement:
The firm has retained Caplin & Drysdale as independent, outside legal counsel to determine if we were misled by the Centre for a Modern Ukraine or any other individuals with regard to the Centre's potential ties to foreign governments or political parties. When the Centre became a client, it certified in writing that 'none of the activities of the Centre are directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed or subsidized in whole or in part by a government of a foreign country or a foreign political party.' We relied on that certification and advice from counsel in registering and reporting under the Lobbying Disclosure Act rather than the Foreign Agents Registration Act. We will take whatever measures are necessary to address this situation based on Caplin & Drysdale's review, including possible legal action against the Centre.