Democratic Lobbyist Tony Podesta Under Investigation

Tony Podesta, chairman of the Podesta Group and the brother of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign chairman John Podesta is in the federal spotlight.

The investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion by the Trump administration with Russia is now being pulled leftward due to the Podesta Group's potential violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

What is FARA?

The Foreign Agents Registration Act dictates that people who lobby on behalf of foreign governments, leaders or political parties must file detailed disclosures about their spending and activities with the Justice Department. 

While investigating former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, investigators discovered that Manafort had organized a public relations campaign for a nonprofit known as the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU), a group whose apparent mission was enhancing Ukraine's image in the West.

ECMU + FARA = :(

The campaign was universally appealing, and the Podesta Group was one of the lobbyist organizations which worked on the EMCU project.  

The focal point is FARA.  The Podesta Group's FARA filing for the ECMU project listed the ECMU as an NGO, or non-governmental organization.  

Fact-finding missions would discover, however, that the ECMU was in actuality a pro-Russian political party, which at the very least looks a bit strange to investigators.

Paul Manafort is a central and well-known figure in the Mueller investigation, with the FBI raiding his apartment this Summer.  He left the Trump campaign just days after the Associated Press revealed the ECMU lobbying project.

The Podesta Group has released a statement assuring that its staff are cooperating in full with federal investigators.

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