Robert Mueller is Closing In…On the Democrats
Democrats have been watching, waiting, and hoping that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will bring home the goods and find something so damning that they will be able to throw President Donald Trump out of the White House and into a prison cell. But as we found out this week, the Democrats may wish they had never pursued the Russian collusion investigation with quite this much fury. Because if anyone’s going down, it’s not President Trump – it’s the Democrats.
According to an NBC News report, the Mueller investigation is turning its eye towards the Podesta Group, a lobbying firm run by Tony Podesta, the brother of John Podesta – former Obama White House staffer and former campaign chairman of Hillary Clinton. The Podesta Group is being investigated for their failure to register as a foreign agent when doing lobbying work on behalf of a non-profit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine.
From the report:
The sources said the investigation into Podesta and his company began as more of a fact-finding mission about the ECMU and [Paul] Manafort’s role in the campaign, but has now morphed into a criminal inquiry into whether the firm violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA.
Under FARA, 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. Willful failure to file the forms is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison, though such prosecutions are rare.
The Podesta Group filed a FARA registration for its work with ECMU only after the payments were reported by the media. Manafort’s firm also filed a FARA registration after media reports in June disclosed its work in Ukraine from 2012 through 2014.
The longer this investigation goes on, the more it feels like this is Manafort-centric and little more than that. And hey, we don’t know, maybe Manafort was involved in some shady Russian dealings he shouldn’t have been involved in. If that’s the case, we’ll probably know soon enough. But Manafort, who served on the Trump campaign for less than a few months in 2016, is not Trump. He’s not Trump’s family. He’s a guy that took over the campaign after the president felt that Corey Lewandowski had done as much as he could do. And he’s a guy the president sent packing the moment his involvement with Kremlin politics came to light.
And it looks like Manafort was not the only one promoting Vladimir Putin’s interests in Ukraine. It looks like some top-level Democrats, like Tony Podesta (and, let’s face it, probably his brother as well) had their hands in the cookie jar as well.
But does any of this have ANYTHING to do with Trump colluding with the Russians to win the election? Not from what we can tell. And that’s a point that Republicans should start making very, very clear to the American public.