Mueller Refers Foreign Agent Inquiries Involving Tony Podesta, Others to NY Special Prosecutors… But Does It Mean Anything?
Robert Mueller has referred several cases to New York federal prosecutors to probe a few American lobbyists, including Tony Podesta, for failing to properly file as foreign agents.
This is merely a ploy to make it look like Robert Mueller is ‘bipartisan,’ and to boost Podesta’s testimony being that he has already been immunized in Manafort’s DC case.
This is why Mueller may have made this move…
“What to watch for: whether this is to make it appear an inquiry is taking place to satiate jury when secret deal immunized testimony. Prosecutors often make it look like they are prosecuting someone to boost their testimony, but no one would testify unless secret deal made,” Attorney Robert Barnes said of this Mueller referral.
None of the people involved have been charged and there is zero indication this inquiry will even result in criminal charges.
The transfer of the inquiries marks an escalation of Mueller’s referrals to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in the period since he turned over a case involving President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
Since the spring, Mueller has referred matters to SDNY involving longtime Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta and his work for his former firm, the Podesta Group, and former Minnesota Republican Rep. Vin Weber and his work for Mercury Public Affairs, the sources said.
One source said that former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig, a former partner at law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, is also part of the inquiry.
None of the entities involved have been charged with wrongdoing, and there is no indication the SDNY inquiry will result in criminal charges.
At least one of the matters, involving Podesta, was referred to SDNY by Mueller’s team shortly before the FBI executed searches of Cohen’s home, office and hotel room in early April, according to the sources, though there is no sign that the timing was related to the Cohen investigation. It couldn’t be determined if the other matters were referred at the same time.
Although sources tell CNN Mueller may have referred Podesta and others to federal prosecutors in New York after receiving backlash for what many perceive as the special counsel’s examination of matters beyond the scope of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election cycle, it is certainly another way to make Mueller appear bipartisan as these cases get buried by US Attorneys.
The Podesta Group, the now defunct lobbying firm ran by John Podesta’s brother, Tony Podesta, was lobbying a pro-Kremlin Ukrainian political front yet was never issued an indictment from Mueller even though they failed to register as a foreign agent.
Tony Podesta was given immunity in the DC case where Manafort is being charged for failing to file a FARA form for his Ukrainian lobbying efforts. This is further proof Manafort is being hunted down like an animal by Mueller purely because of his association with Donald Trump.
The Podesta Group was given the liberty to retroactively file its foreign agent disclosures after someone at the DOJ tipped them off they had improperly filed FARA paperwork.
Tony Podesta has received special treatment from Mueller and the Feds while the FBI raided Manafort at gunpoint in a pre-dawn door-buster to seize paperwork.