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Judicial Watch: John Podesta Needs to Be Investigated About His Russia Connections

Michael W. Chapman
By Michael W. Chapman | July 14, 2017 | 4:25 PM EDT

John Podesta, former chairman of the

Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

John Podesta, the former chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, served on the board of a company that received at least $35 million from a Russian investment group that was created and funded by the Kremlin and, given the current standard for investigating the Trump administration, Podesta’s Russia connections certainly merit investigation, said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.  

Earlier this week on Fox’s The Intelligence Report, host Trish Regan asked Fitton, “I want to know about John Podesta and what you think there. Does he need to be investigated?”

Fitton said,  “Well, if the standard is if you’re talking to the Russians and doing business with the Russians you need to be investigated, [then] John Podesta fits the bill to a T.”

“He served on a board with Russian government officials,” said Fitton. “His board, his company took $35 million out of $110 million raised from a Russia-centered organization, or state organization.”

“So, by all standards, he ought to be subject to an investigation on Russia collusion – if that’s the standard they’re using to investigate the Trump team,” said Fitton.

As investigator and author Peter Schweizer explained to the New York Post, Podesta was appointed to the board of the green energy firm Joule Unlimited, in Massachusetts, in January 2011.

Several months later, Rusnano, “a Kremlin-backed investment fund founded by Vladimir Putin, pumped $35 million into Joule,” reportedly more than 30% of Joule’s $110 million in outside financing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Anatoly Chubais, chairman of Rusnano, which 

invested $35 million in Joule Unlimited, where John Podesta was a member of the board

and of which he owns 75,000 stock shares. (Moscow Times)

On the Joule board with Podesta were “senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and oligarch Ruben Vardanyan, who has been appointed by Putin to a Russian economic modernization council,” said Schweizer.

Podesta holds 75,000 shares of Joule stock. In 2013, Podesta reportedly transferred those shares to an LLC controlled by his children, before he went to work at the White House as counselor to President Barack Obama. He joined the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in the spring of 2015.

Although Podesta notes that he left the board and divested his Joule shares before joining the Obama White House, he “resumed communicating with Joule and Joule investors after leaving the White House and joining Clinton’s campaign,” reported Schweizer.

“In fact, he received an invoice from his lawyers in April 2015 — a consent request for Dmitry Akhanov of Rusnano USA to join Joule’s board,” said Schweizer.

Furthermore, “there’s also this inconvenient fact,” reported Schweizer, “In 2016, Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, where Joule board member Reuben Vardanyan formerly served as head of its investment banking division, had a $170,000 lobbying contract with the Podesta Group — which is owned by John Podesta’s brother, Tony Podesta.”

“In short, Clinton’s top campaign chief and a senior counselor to Obama sat on Joule’s board alongside top Russian officials as Putin’s Kremlin-backed investment fund funneled $35 million into Joule,” said Schweizer.

“No one looking at the Podesta fact pattern can claim to care about rooting out Russian collusion and not rigorously investigate the tangle of relationships,” he said. 

Tony Podesta. (podesta.com) 

 

Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman