John Podesta's Shady Russian Business Dealings
As the Dems do everything they can to find imaginary links between Trump and Russia, it turns out that key members of their own party have had dealings with the Motherland.
As I wrote last month, Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta represented Russia’s largest bank in a 2016 effort to end the sanctions Obama imposed following Russia’s seizure of Crimea.
While Tony earned massive amounts of money representing Sberbank, his brother John was busy leading attacks against Trump for his alleged cooperation with Russia during his presidential campaign.
John Podesta served under former President Bill Clinton as White House chief of staff and, more recently, worked for Hillary as her campaign chairman. Lawmakers are now calling to investigate his relationship with Rusnano, a Kremlin-funded company that has been referred to as “Putin’s child.”
It all started in 2011, when Podesta became involved with a small renewable energy enterprise called Joule Unlimited. Less than three months later, Rusnano invested $35 million in Joule – and Podesta received 75,000 common shares of Joule stock.
In 2013, Podesta became a special counselor to president Barack Obama. He did not reveal the Rusnano deal or his stock holdings.
“In his financial disclosure form in 2013, he not only fails to disclose these 75,000 shares of stock that he has in Joule Energy, which is funded in part by the Russian government. He also fails to disclose that he is on one of the three corporate boards that this entity has…that’s a clear violation of the disclosure rules that I think needs to be looked at,” says Peter Schweizer, author of Clinton Cash.
“What makes the Podesta case clear is there was a transfer of money and there was a transfer of a lot of money that stood to make John Podesta a lot of money. That is unique and that’s extremely troubling because at the time that transfer is taking place he is advising Hillary Clinton at the State Department,” continues Schweizer.
“This certainly needs to be reviewed to see if there really is something nefarious going on with these activities,” said Louie Gohmert (R-TX), a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Rusnano is now enmeshed in a federal lawsuit that suggests Joule may have unknowingly helped Rusnano in a scheme to transform billions of weak rubles into valuable US dollars by investing in high-tech American companies.
Several state-owned Russian companies began investing in Silicon Valley and Boston shortly after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pursued her “reset” with Moscow.
In 2014, FBI agent Lucia Ziobro warned Boston-area firms to be wary of Russian investors: “The FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by their government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies,” she wrote.
The call to investigate Podesta’s history with Russia comes amid the ongoing investigation regarding Trump’s relationship with Russia and the Kremlin’s alleged influence during the presidential election.
Unlike the accusations concerning Russian ties in the Trump Administration, the Podesta/Clinton deals involved hundreds of millions of dollars. This is a glaring double standard.
“It is ironic that all the real evidence of real money and real influence-buying relates to Democrats,” said Newt Gingrich on Sunday. “There’s no evidence that anybody was particularly being purchased on the Republican side. [The investigation should] be about the degree to which the US is penetrated with efforts to corrupt our society and to purchase influence.”