Tony Podesta Leaves Lobbying Firm After Inclusion in Mueller Probe

Mr. Podesta's lawyer on Monday sent a cease-and-desist letter to a Fox News host over his claims on air that Mr. Podesta and his brother, John Podesta, who served as chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, worked closely with Mr. Manafort on behalf of Russian Federation.

Mr. Podesta, a major Democratic donor and lobbying powerhouse, announced his departure at a staff meeting on Monday, according to a partner at the firm who did not want to be identified discussing delicate internal affairs.

Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group are now the subjects of a federal investigation being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, three sources with knowledge of the matter told NBC News.

Tony Podesta is viewed as one of the most prominent Democratic lobbyists in Washington. He and his brother could Drain The Swamp, which would be yet another campaign promise fulfilled.

On Monday, Tony Podesta stepped down from the firm he built as federal prosecutors probing claims of Russian interference charged former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his aide Rick Gates with money laundering.

Dubbed on of DC's "50 heavy lifters" by the Financial Times and one of "Washington's biggest players" by The New York Times, Podesta turned his once-modest lobbying firm into a DC heavy hitter.

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Why did he step down from the Podesta Group? According to Politico, the firm recently lost some clients, and brought in $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2016.

The move comes after it was revealed last week Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating him as part of the larger probe into the 2016 presidential election.

"Podesta's lawyer wasn't trying to inform us of anything - but to threaten us, to shut down our reporting on his client", he said.

Podesta Group filed paperwork with the Justice Department in April stating that it had done work for the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine that also benefited the same Ukrainian political party that Manafort once advised. "The Podesta Group has fully cooperated with the special counsel's office and taken every possible step to provide documentation that confirms compliance with the law". "Based on our due diligence and on the recommendation of definitive legal experts, the firm immediately filed the appropriate public disclosures of its representation of the ECFMU over five years ago, and in eight subsequent public filings".

John and Tony Podesta founded the Podesta Group together in 1988. "The ECFMU provided formal certification that it was neither funded by nor directed by a government or political party".

  • Sonia Alvarado