As the doors shutter at the Podesta Group and employees flee from under the microscope of Robert Mueller’s special counsel, it appears Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) has decided to return donations received from Tony Podesta. Senator Donnelly made the decision only after being called out by his Republican opponent in the up and coming 2018 midterm election, Todd Rokita.
Spokesman for the Rokita campaign, Nathan Brand, made the following statement regarding the donations made to Senator Donnelly from Podesta:
“This is just another example of Mexico Joe only doing the right thing after getting caught. First, it was thousands of dollars of investments from his family’s company outsourcing jobs to Mexico. Now, it’s the dirty campaign cash from Democrat super-lobbyist Tony Podesta.”
It was reported that Tony Podesta is under scrutiny from Mueller’s special counsel with regard to his failures to register as a foreign agent. Any person lobbying on behalf of a foreign government must register as a foreign agent under the guidelines specified within the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The Podesta Group, at the direction of Tony Podesta, was lobbying on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party in coordination with Paul Manafort. Podesta’s failure to register as a foreign agent was highlighted when a grand jury unsealed the indictment of Paul Manafort and his associate, Rick Gates.
Various FEC filings show the following Democrats have received donations from Tony Podesta:
- Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
- Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
- Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
- Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
- Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)
- Senator Tom Tester (D-MT)
In 2016 Tony Podesta acted as a campaign bundler for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) in that he raised $450,000. As of 2017, Tony Podesta has bundled $133,000 for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) as well as donating $5,000 of his own money.
Should Tony Podesta get indicted through Mueller’s special counsel, as many are speculating will happen in the coming weeks, the various roles Tony Podesta played within the Democratic Party’s fundraising activities will be rigorously dissected.
An indictment of Tony Podesta could be damning for Democrats as the 2018 mid-term election cycle starts to kick-in gear. Senator Donnelly will be facing a tough opponent in Republican challenger Todd Rokita, which makes the return of Podesta’s donations a blatant signal of what’s to come should an indictment of Podesta come to light.
Just as President Trump and staff sought to distance themselves from Paul Manafort, the Democrats will seek to distance themselves from Tony Podesta. Manafort’s short time as manager for the Trump campaign is very different than that of Tony Podesta having his fingerprints on the DSCC and the DCCC. With regard to President Trump, it appears Manafort was a cancer that could be quickly cut out. Podesta has metastasized throughout the Democratic Party with close ties to sitting members in both the House and the Senate, of whom are seeking reelection. The indictment could be a political car-wreck that may require untangling throughout the 2018 mid-term elections and could hamper the Democratic Party’s hopes of regaining any power. A rather ironic plot twist given the intended outcome of appointing Robert Mueller and company.
Tony Podesta is also the brother of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign manager, John Podesta.