When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead an investigation into the 2016 presidential election earlier this year, pretty much everyone in the Democrat media complex believed he would only be going after those close to President Trump. After all, the narrative for nearly a year has been that it was the Trump campaign which worked with the Russian government to swing the election. Hillary would never do anything like that.
But according to a new report over at NBC News, Mueller is looking at Democrat lobbyist Tony Podesta as part of his investigation. Tony, of course, is John Podesta's brother. John Podesta was the chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. He also served as President Bill Clinton's chief of staff and as a White House counselor to President Obama.
How did Mueller's leads end up at Podesta? Through Paul Manafort, of course.
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.
The probe of Podesta and his Democratic-leaning lobbying firm grew out of Mueller's inquiry into the finances of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to the sources. As special counsel, Mueller has been tasked with investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Manafort had organized a public relations campaign for a non-profit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU). Podesta's company was one of many firms that worked on the campaign, which promoted Ukraine's image in the West.
The sources said the investigation into Podesta and his company began as more of a fact-finding mission about the ECMU and Manafort's role in the campaign, but has now morphed into a criminal inquiry into whether the firm violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA.
The Ukraine portion of this is important. According to POLITICO, the Clinton campaign actively worked with officials from the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington to undermine Donald Trump's candidacy. In other words, there was collusion between an American presidential campaign -- Hillary Clinton's -- and a foreign government to change the minds of voters.
Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate whose campaign was boosted by officials of a former Soviet bloc country.
Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.
A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.
Politico’s investigation found evidence of Ukrainian government involvement in the race that appears to strain diplomatic protocol dictating that governments refrain from engaging in one another’s elections.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said during congressional testimony in July that he was interested in looking into the connection.
Senator Lindsey Graham: Would you agree with me that it is wrong for the Ukraine to be involved in our elections?
Wray: Yes Senator. I take any....
Graham: I got you, right answer. Now, will you look into this?
Wray: I'd be happy to dig into it.
President Trump has also called on DOJ to investigate.
Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign - "quietly working to boost Clinton." So where is the investigation A.G. @seanhannity— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017