June 25, 2022

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Manafort Indictment Also Implicates Clinton Connected Lobbyist

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Manafort Indictment Also Implicates Clinton Connected Lobbyist

Two lobbying firms, including one owned by Tony Podesta, knowingly worked with Former campaign manager Paul Manafort at the direction of the Ukrainian government, according to an indictment released on Friday by the Robert Mueller’s special counsel’s office.

Clinton-connected lobbyist Tony Podesta knew he was working with Paul Manafort on behalf of a Ukrainian politician

The indictment released ahead of an expected plea deal for Paul Manafort,  says that as a part of his “lobbying scheme,” Manafort hired two lobbying firms back in February of 2012 to lobby on behalf of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

“Various employees of Companies A and B understood that they were receiving direction from MANAFORT and President Yanukovych, not the Centre, which was not even operational when Companies A and B began lobbying for Ukraine,” reads the indictment released on Friday.

The head of Company B reported to be Tony Podesta, told his employees “to think the President of Ukraine ‘is the client.’”

The Centre is a reference to a Brussels-based non-profit organization ‘the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine,’  that the government says was used to support Yanukovych.

The indictment also references evidence that an employee of the Podesta Group found that the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine was actually being used as a cover for Yanukovych.

“An employee of Company B described the Centre as a fig leaf, and the Centre’s written certification that it was not related to the Party of Regions as ‘a fig leaf on a fig leaf,’ referring to the Centre in an email as the ‘European hot dog stand for a Modern Ukraine,’” the indictment reads. 

“Company B wrote in an email to its team about a ‘potential representation for the Ukraine,’ having been contacted ‘at the suggestion of Paul Manafort who has been working on the current PM elections.’”

The indictment also says Paul Manafort, Gates, and “employees of both the Companies listed as A and B referred to the client in ways that made very clear they knew it was Ukraine, for example, they noted that the ‘client’ had an Embassy in Washington D.C.”

As per Paul Manafort’s direction, Mercury and the Podesta Group lobbied dozens of members of Congress, their staffers, and White House and Department of State officials regarding a whole host of issues related to Ukraine, including the validity of its own elections.

Paul Manafort frequently briefed Yanukovych on Mercury and Podesta’s lobbying activities. He also tasked the companies to prepare reports that he could provide to Yanukovych.

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