Tony Podesta weighs the return of lobbying and democratic politics
Although Mr Podesta’s office disclosed the client under less detailed Congressional lobbying rules and retroactively registered with the Department of Justice, that did not prevent the special advocate’s office from subpoenaing the cases. and the employees of his firm and others who worked with Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates.
Mr. Podesta questioned the motives and methods of the Special Council’s investigation. He called one of the lead prosecutors in the investigation, Andrew Weismann, “Inspector Javert”, the police character in Les Misérables who became obsessed with the capture and punishment of a parolee who had been released. was convicted of stealing bread to feed his family.
“I didn’t even steal a loaf of bread,” Podesta said, saying he was targeted at least in part because the special advocate “felt it was clearly a good idea to have a democrat “.
Mr Podesta said his company’s finances were under strain, in part because it paid up to $ 5 million in legal fees for employees who were subpoenaed by prosecutors, and in part because the investigation frightened customers who left the company.
Mr Manafort and Mr Gates were charged with unregistered foreign lobbying, tax evasion and other crimes in October 2017. The indictment identified the Podesta group and a company he was working with on the Ukrainian effort , Mercury Public Affairs, but not by name, as having worked in a “scheme” with Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates to gain support from Mr. Yanukovych, while avoiding the disclosure requirements of foreign lobbying .
Within a day, the Podesta Group bank, citing the special council’s investigation and the drying up of the company’s accounts to pay staff legal fees, canceled its line of credit, returning the illiquid business, Mr. Podesta said.
He told his employees at a staff meeting that he was stepping down from the company, citing attacks by Mr. Trump and his allies in the conservative media as making it “impossible to run a store. public affairs ”, according to those present.