Tony Podesta Resignation Follows String of Foreign Lobbying Disclosure Violations

Tony Podesta / Wikimedia Commons
Tony Podesta / Wikimedia Commons
October 30, 2017

The resignation of high-powered Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta from the firm bearing his name follows a string of failures by him to disclose his advocacy for foreign entities that put him under the microscope of special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Podesta's decision to leave the Podesta Group was announced to the firm on Monday morning, Politico reported, and came a week after it was revealed that the government was investigating whether Podesta violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires individuals that lobby for foreign entities to disclose activities on behalf of those entities to the Department of Justice.

The inquiry is reportedly into Podesta's work for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, which was not disclosed until after payments from the group to Podesta's firm were discovered by the press. The Podesta Group was hired by the ECMU for a public affairs campaign put together by Paul Manafort, who was indicted on Monday morning on charges including failure to follow FARA requirements.

Podesta vowed that he will "fight" back against accusations, but this is not the first time he has found himself in hot water for his failure to follow disclosure laws regarding his work for foreign clients.

Last year, Podesta had to admit to DOJ that he failed to disclose meetings he put together between the government of India, a Podesta Group client, and his brother John Podesta, then a senior counselor in President Obama's White House. Both Tony and John Podesta, who worked on issues pertaining to India for the administration, met with the Indian ambassador to the United States in the West Wing in August 2014. The brothers had also sent emails to each other about India, which were not disclosed.

Podesta only disclosed the meeting and emails after it was discovered by the Washington Free Beacon, which initially reported the apparent FARA violation in October of last year.

He filed the amended disclosures just after the election. Tony Podesta was a top fundraiser for the Clinton campaign, which was chaired by his brother.