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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Mueller-referred probe into Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig, Clinton-linked Tony

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    Mueller-referred probe into Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig, Clinton-linked Tony Podesta heats up: report


    By Gregg Re | Fox News


    Report: Mueller refers Podesta inquiry to NY prosecutors

    Robert Mueller's investigation leads to new probes over illicit foreign lobbying; Jonathan Hunt reports on inquiries referred to the Southern District of New York.

    An investigation referred to Justice Department prosecutors by Special Counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year, and looking into possible criminal activity by Clinton-linked Washington insider Tony Podesta and former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig, is heating up, according to a new report that underscores federal authorities' newly heightened enforcement of laws governing foreign business relationships.

    The inquiries center on Podesta, a Democratic lobbyist and co-founder of the onetime lobbying powerhouse known as The Podesta Group; Vin Weber, a former GOP congressman from Minnesota; and Craig, who also worked in the Clinton White House.


    The probes had been quiet for months since Mueller referred them to authorities in Manhattan because they fell outside his mandate of determining whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia.


    But in a flurry of new activity, Justice Department prosecutors in the last several weeks have begun interviewing witnesses and contacting lawyers to schedule additional questioning related to the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs, people familiar with the inquiry anonymously told The Associated Press.


    The New York work underscores the broad effects of Mueller's investigation, extending well beyond the central question of President Trump and whether or not there was Russian collusion.

    Mueller has made clear he will not turn away if he discovers alleged crimes outside the scope of his inquiry; instead, he refers them out in investigations that may linger on even after the special counsel's work concludes. Other Justice Department referrals from Mueller have ended in guilty pleas, including the hush money payment case of Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen.


    INVESTIGATORS ALSO PROBING OBAMA'S WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL


    The investigation reflects how Mueller, in latching onto an obscure law, has shined a lighton high-dollar lobbying practices that have helped foreign governments find powerful allies and advocates in Washington. It's a practice that has spanned both parties and enriched countless former government officials, who have leveraged their connections to influence American politics.

    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2)]

    Andy McCarthy provides insight on Tony Podesta inquiry

    Special counsel has referred a number of cases to federal prosecutors in New York that reportedly have to do with high-profile lobbyists.


    In New York, Mueller's referral prompted a fresh look at the lobbying firms of Podesta and Weber, who have faced scrutiny for their decisions not to register as foreign agents for Ukrainian lobbying work directed by Manafort.

    STATE DEPT PROVIDED 'CLEARLY FALSE' DOCS TO DERAIL CLINTON DOC REQUESTS, 'SHOCKED' FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS


    Podesta is a longtime Democratic operative whose brother, John Podesta, ran Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign; Weber is a former Republican congressman from Minnesota. Neither man has been charged with any crimes. Their firms have defended the decisions by saying they relied on the advice of outside attorneys.



    An attorney for Greg Craig claims his client “was not required to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act."(Facebook)


    Mueller's referral also involved Greg Craig, a former White House counsel for President Barack Obama. Craig supervised a report authored on behalf of the Ukrainian government, and Mueller's team has said Manafort helped Ukraine hide that it paid more than $4 million for the work. CNN reported in September that prosecutors were weighing charges against Craig.

    MUELLER MEMO SAYS EX-NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER PROVIDED 'SUBSTANTIAL ASSISTANCE' TO INVESTIGATORS ON MULTIPLE PROBES


    It's unclear if the renewed interest will produce charges or if prosecutors are merely following up on Mueller's referral.


    Lawyers for Weber and Craig and a spokeswoman for Podesta declined to comment. The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan didn't return an email seeking comment.

    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2)]

    Tucker: Podesta Group lobbied members of Congress for Russia

    Tucker: Source says the Podesta Group lobbied several members of Congress, including Sen. Bob Menendez, on behalf of the pro-Russian Ukrainians and agents. And the Podesta Group wasn't just working for the Ukrainians. #Tucker


    Mercury spokesman Michael McKeon said the firm has "always welcomed any inquiry since we acted appropriately at every step of the process, including hiring a top lawyer in Washington and following his advice. We'll continue to cooperate as we have previously."

    Foreign lobbying work was central to Mueller's case against Manafort and his longtime associate Rick Gates, two high-profile Trump campaign officials who pleaded guilty earlier this year and have been interviewed extensively by prosecutors.


    The Podestas have been frequent targets of Trump and his associates, who have repeatedly demanded to know why Tony Podesta has not been arrested and charged. Trump confidant Roger Stone, for instance, has insisted a 2016 tweet of his that appeared to presage the release by WikiLeaks of John Podesta's emails — "Trust me, it will soon the Podesta's time in the barrel" — was instead a reference to the brothers' foreign connections getting them into the hot seat.


    ROGER STONE TO PLEAD FIFTH TO AVOID TESTIFYING, PROVIDING DOCS TO SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE


    Stone's legal team announced in a letter Tuesday that Stone would assert his Fifth Amendment right not to testify or provide documents to a Senate committee investigating potential collusion between the president's team and Russia.


    "Mr. Stone's invocation of his Fifth Amendment privilege must be understood by all to be the assertion of a Constitutional right by an innocent citizen who denounces secrecy," Stone's attorney, Grant Smith, said in the statement. He also called the Senate Judiciary Committee's requests a "fishing expedition" that is "far too overboard, far too overreaching, far too wide-ranging."


    In September, Manafort admitted to directing Mercury and the Podesta Group to lobby in the U.S. on behalf of a Ukrainian political party and Ukraine's government, then led by President Viktor Yanukovych, Manafort's longtime political patron.



    Tony Podesta's firm is facing scrutiny from the Robert Mueller probe. (Facebook)


    While doing the lobbying, neither the Podesta Group nor Mercury registered as foreign agents under a U.S. law known as the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, which requires lobbyists to declare publicly if they represent foreign leaders, governments or their political parties.

    LAWYER WITH OBAMA, CLINTON TIES MAY FACE FEDERAL CHARGES


    The Justice Department has rarely prosecuted such cases, which carry up to five years in prison, but has taken a more aggressive tack lately.


    To secretly fund the lobbying and to avoid registration with the Justice Department, Manafort said he along with unidentified "others" arranged for the firms to be hired by a Brussels-based nonprofit, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, rather than the Ukrainian political interests directly.


    Mercury and Podesta, which were paid a combined $2 million on the project, then registered under a less stringent lobbying law that doesn't require as much public disclosure as FARA.

    [COLOR=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.2)][/COLOR]
    Report: Mueller's team said to be 'tying up loose ends'

    New court filings could offer insight into next steps for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian collusion; reaction from Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano.


    Both firms have said they registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, rather than FARA, on the advice of lawyers at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Craig's former firm.

    Gates admitted in his plea deal that he lied to Mercury's attorneys about the project, a fact the lobbying firm has publicly highlighted.

    The Podesta Group has said it was misled by the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, citing a written certification from the nonprofit stating it wasn't directed or controlled by the Ukrainian Party of Regions, one of Manafort's clients.


    Both firms have since registered under FARA. But in court papers filed alongside Manafort's plea agreement, Mueller's prosecutors suggested the firms were aware they were working on Ukraine's behalf.


    Prosecutors say employees of both companies "referred to the client in ways that made clear they knew it was Ukraine." One Mercury employee said the nonprofit was the client "in name only," likening the situation to "Alice in Wonderland." A Podesta employee referred to the nonprofit's certification that it wasn't related to the Ukrainian political party as a "fig leaf on a fig leaf."


    Mueller's team also noted that "the head of" the Podesta Group, an apparent reference to Tony Podesta, told his team to think the president of Ukraine is the client.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/mue...into-high-gear
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Why would that be "referred"?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Mueller Passes 3 Cases Focused on Illicit Foreign Lobbying to Prosecutors in New York

    The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, last year at the Capitol. He has referred three investigations into possible illicit foreign lobbying to federal prosecutors in Manhattan.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times


    The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, last year at the Capitol. He has referred three investigations into possible illicit foreign lobbying to federal prosecutors in Manhattan.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

    By Matthew Rosenberg, Kenneth P. Vogel and Katie Benner

    • Aug. 1, 2018



    WASHINGTON — 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.


    Gregory B. Craig in 2016 in Washington. Mr. Craig served as the White House counsel under President Barack Obama before leaving to work for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.CreditMark Wilson/Getty Images




    Gregory B. Craig in 2016 in Washington. Mr. Craig served as the White House counsel under President Barack Obama before leaving to work for the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.CreditMark Wilson/Getty Images

    All three men were informed in the late winter or early spring that Mr. Mueller was handing off the investigations to prosecutors in New York, the people briefed on the cases said.

    The referrals were first reported by CNN, and none of the men could immediately be reached for comment. Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mr. Mueller, declined to comment.


    A former senior official at the Justice Department, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an open investigation, said that the special counsel has referred some cases under the Foreign Agents Registration Act to the federal prosecutors in Manhattan and to other parts of the Justice Department.

    The former official would not provide details of the cases. But the official did say that prosecutors in the department’s criminal and national security divisions periodically meet with Mr. Mueller’s team to discuss whether cases are appropriate targets for the special counsel, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether any associates of Mr. Trump aided the Russian campaign.


    Mr. Mueller’s specific mandate appeared to be why prosecutors in New York took on the investigation into Mr. Cohen, who helped Mr. Trump navigate thorny personal and business dilemmas in more than a decade serving as his fixer. Mr. Cohen now finds himself under legal scrutiny on issues far afield for Russian election interference, such as his ownership of taxi medallions and whether he paid hush money to a pornographic film star who claims to have had an affair with Mr. Trump.


    Mr. Mueller and others at the Justice Department appear to have determined that the examination of lobbying for foreign powers, like Mr. Cohen’s business dealings, could fall beyond the special counsel’s mandate.


    Representative Vin Weber, Republican of Minnesota, in 1992 in Washington. After leaving Congress, Mr. Weber joined the Mercury Public Affairs, a lobbying firm.CreditAssociated Press




    Representative Vin Weber, Republican of Minnesota, in 1992 in Washington. After leaving Congress, Mr. Weber joined the Mercury Public Affairs, a lobbying firm.CreditAssociated Press

    But it was unclear why the jurisdiction for the lobbying cases was changed. Unlike Mr. Cohen’s business, which was based in New York, the lobbying took place in Washington, though payments for the work from overseas most likely flowed through New York.

    Under American law, anyone who lobbies or conducts public relations on behalf of a foreign interest in the United States must register with the Justice Department. The law carries stiff penalties, including up to five years in prison. But it had rarely been enforced, and thus widely ignored, until recently.


    Now, it appears to have become a weapon for prosecutors. Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser, was facing possible charges of violating the law over his secret work for the Turkey during the campaign before he agreed to cooperate with Mr. Mueller last year.

    The three cases referred to prosecutors in New York appear to be another sign that the Justice Department intends to more strenuously enforce the law.


    Yet, as the cases show, such investigations often confront prosecutors with interlaced financial arrangements that can prove difficult to untangle.


    The Podesta Group, Mr. Podesta’s firm; Mercury Public Affairs, where Mr. Weber worked; and Skadden, where Mr. Craig practiced, were all recruited by Mr. Manafort to assist with his work in Ukraine on behalf of that country’s president at the time, Viktor F. Yanukovych, who was considered a Kremlin ally.


    Tony Podesta in 2010 in Washington. Mr. Podesta is a high-powered Washington lobbyist whose brother, John D. Podesta, was the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.CreditLuke Sharrett for The New York Times




    Tony Podesta in 2010 in Washington. Mr. Podesta is a high-powered Washington lobbyist whose brother, John D. Podesta, was the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.CreditLuke Sharrett for The New York Times

    But two of the firms — the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs — were retained through a nonprofit group in Brussels, the European Center for a Modern Ukraine. The nonprofit was directed by Mr. Manafort, and the firms lobbied in Washington on behalf of the nonprofit for what Mr. Manafort billed as Mr. Yanukovych’s efforts to move Ukraine into the West.

    The firms were paid more than $1.1 million each for the work. But they did not initially register to lobby with the Justice Department as foreign agents. Doing so would have required them to make detailed disclosures of the lobbying activity they had performed.


    They instead had filed less detailed lobbying reports with Congress, based at least partly on misleading characterizations that Mr. Manafort’s deputy later admitted to providing. The firms retroactively registered to lobby for foreigners with the Justice Department in 2017. The Podesta Group collapsed in part because of the scrutiny from the case.

    Skadden was hired directly by Mr. Yanukovych’s government
    to analyze the prosecution of one of Mr. Yanukovych’s leading political rivals, former Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko. Led by Mr. Craig, the firm published a report in 2012 that was used — mostly without success — to try to allay concerns about Mr. Yanukovych’s leadership in Washington.


    Skadden also did not register its activity under lobbying rules, despite Mr. Craig himself being involved in promoting the report to journalists and members of Congress — activity that experts said should have prompted registration requirements.


    Mr. Craig left Skadden in April as investigators made inquiries about his work with Mr. Manafort. While the departure was presented as voluntary, a lawyer familiar with the situation said that Mr. Craig was forced out.


    Mr. Mueller’s team repeatedly referenced the work of the firms in his filings in Mr. Manafort’s case, including accusing Mr. Manafort and his longtime deputy of using an offshore account to “funnel $4 million to pay for the report” from Skadden.


    Mr. Mueller’s team also indicted a Skadden lawyer who worked with Mr. Manafort on the report. The lawyer pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his communications with a former Trump campaign aide, and has already completed a jail sentence.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/01/u...-lobbying.html
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    That's what he prosecuted Paul Manafort on, so why "refer" these to New York instead of prosecute them himself like he did Manafort and lock them up in solitary confinement like he did Paul Manafort?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    " 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."
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    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Cohen is charged with tax evasion and bank fraud, has nothing whatsoever to do with "Illicit Foreign Lobbying". There's no reason for these cases to be referred to New York, Mueller should have tried these himself, if he wants to be consistent and fair. Podestas and all the Clinton people need to be raided, charged and locked up in solitary confinement just like they did to Paul Manafort.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Mueller is a deep state DemoQuack sucking coward.
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