BREAKING NEWS Out Of The FBI

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller is turning up the heat and it is making even the left uncomfortable. They started this investigation and now lo and behold Mueller has issued grand jury subpoenas seeking testimony from any and all public relations executives who worked on lobbying campaigns organized by Paul Manafort, INCLUDING the Podesta Group.

The Podesta Group was founded by brothers John and Tony Podesta.  John was the former chairman of Hillary Clinton’s ill fated presidential bid in 2016 and one of those on the left still screaming about “the Russians.” The Podesta Group was one of the six lobbying firms who worked on Manafort’s campaign from 2012 to 2014 in an effort to get the Ukraine into the European Union.

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This is the first public indication that Mueller’s investigation is beginning to compel witness testimony before the grand jury.  This is a significant milestone in an inquiry into the witch hunt launched against the supposed Russian interference into the 2016 Presidential election.

Mueller’s team is examining whether this was a legitimate project and is shining the spotlight on the Podesta Group as a result. Six different firms participated in the Manafort Campaign financed by the Brussels-based non-profit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine with the purpose of building support for the Ukraine’s entry into the European Union.

According to lobbying disclosure records, both the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC worked directly with Manafort’s partner Rick Gates.  Three additional firms worked in Europe on the campaign. During the time of Manafort’s campaign, the Ukraine was run by a pro-Russian political party.  The party paid Manafort $17 million for their consulting efforts in 2013 and 2014. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, the leader of the party, fled to Russia during a popular uprising in 2014.

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During this period of time, neither Manafort nor these firms registered as a foreign agent, though it is said none registered because the non-profit was not funded by any government or political party, therefore rendering the registration as a foreign agent unnecessary.

Under the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act, people who lobby on behalf of foreign governments, leaders or political parties must file detailed disclosures about their spending and activities to the Justice Department. The Department of Justice recently told both the Mercury and Podesta firms that they should have registered as foreign agents.  Both firms have complied and completed the registration as required. Though prosecutions are extremely rare for violations, a willful failure to fill out the forms is considered a felony and can result in a sentence of up to five years in prison.

[h/t – The Federalist Papers]

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