A lobbying firm owned by superlobbyist Democrat Tony Podesta worked directly with Paul Manafort regarding the direction of the Ukrainian government, this according to an indictment released on Friday. This indictment says that part of Manafort’s “lobbying scheme” includes that of soliciting two firms in February 2012 on behalf of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
This indict has been released ahead of the expected and much-anticipated plea deal for Manafort. He was convicted in federal court in Virginia on Aug. 21 on bank fraud, tax fraud and money laundering charges.
“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. The Centre is a reference to the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, a Brussels-based non-profit that the government says was used to support Yanukovych.
One company has been identified as Mercury Public Affairs, which is a lobbying firm operated by now-former Republican Rep. Vin Weber, and the other being that of the Podesta group which was founded by DNC’s John Podesta’s brother, Tony… John is the chair.
From The Daily Caller:
Nobody from Podesta Group or Mercury Public Affairs has faced charges in the case, though the latest indictment suggests that the lobbying firms skirted federal law by failing to register as foreign agents with the Department of Justice (DOJ).
According to the indictment, Manafort knowingly avoided registering with the DOJ and lied to the government about his work for Yanukovych, who was forced to leave office in 2014.
The indictment lays out evidence that Manafort, his business partner Rick Gates, and employees at Mercury Public Affairs and the Podesta Group were aware they were working for Yanukovych.
The head of Company B, believed to be Podesta, told his employees “to think the President of Ukraine ‘is the client.’”
The indictment also cites evidence that an employee of the Podesta Group realized the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine was being used as cover for Yanukovych.
Well isn’t that something… I wonder how long it will take for action, if any, to be made against either of these firms?