01 August 2018

Oh, Snap!

Bob Mueller just referred the cases of shat appears to be unregistered foreign lobbyist to the Manhattan US attorney, including Tony Podesta, long time Democratic operator, and brother of John Podesta, Chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016:
Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, has referred three investigations into possible illicit foreign lobbying by Washington insiders to federal prosecutors in New York who are already handling the case against President Trump’s former lawyer, according to multiple people familiar with the cases.

The cases cut across party lines, focusing on both powerful Democratic and Republican players in Washington, including one whom Mr. Trump has repeatedly targeted — the Democratic superlobbyist Tony Podesta. The cases are unlikely to provoke an outburst from Mr. Trump similar to the one he unleashed in April after prosecutors raided the home and office of Michael D. Cohen, then the president’s lawyer. But these cases do represent a challenge to Washington’s elite, many of whom have earned rich paydays lobbying for foreign interests.

They also tie into the special counsel investigation of Mr. Trump: All three cases are linked to Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, whose trial on financial fraud charges began Tuesday in Alexandria, Va.

Mr. Manafort earned tens of millions of dollars lobbying for Ukrainian politicians with ties to Russia, and he drew other Washington lobbyists and lawyers into the work. Now, all three cases being taken on by the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan are examining whether those lobbyists failed to register as foreign agents, as is required by law, and how they were paid, said people familiar with the investigations.

The cases involve Gregory B. Craig, who served as the White House counsel under President Barack Obama before leaving to work for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; former Representative Vin Weber, Republican of Minnesota, who joined Mercury Public Affairs, a lobbying firm, after leaving Congress; and Tony Podesta, a high-powered Washington lobbyist whose brother, John D. Podesta, was the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The three men have not been charged with any crimes, those familiar with the cases said.

But the cases have progressed far enough that Mr. Mueller’s team had subpoenaed or requested documents from all three firms, starting last year, and his investigators had interviewed Mr. Craig, people familiar with the investigations said.
The question here is not whether these folks are guilty, in the case of the Podesta Group, they have been flagrantly violating the law for well over a decade, but whether they will actually be prosecuted.

My guess is that there won't even be a slap on the wrist, because laws are for little people.


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