John Podesta: I Am Victim of 'Big Lie Campaign' by Trump

Podesta announced his decision to leave The Podesta Group during a firm-wide meeting Monday morning and is alerting clients of his impending departure, Politico reported.

Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman John Podesta, has stepped down from his namesake lobbying group citing the current news environment, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Da Cruz says what will be important in the coming months is if this alleged collusion with Russian Federation somehow affected the 2016 election - and was President Trump involved? Manafort turned himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Monday, after being indicted on 12 counts, among which were "conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts". The Podesta Group also reported its relationship with the European Center under those disclosure rules. Amid the "Panama Papers" leak emerged a Party of Regions ledger listing $12.7 million in cash payments for Manafort.

The firm makes an appearance in the Manafort indictment as "Company B".

The indictment refers to "Company A" and "Company B" as the firms Manafort and Gates solicited in 2012 to lobby on behalf of the Ukranian government.

Among the allegations is that they did not properly disclose the lobbying work under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, a law that is nearly never used to bring criminal cases.

Podesta says he was quitting because of the criticism he's been getting over the special counsel investigation, according to The Washington Post, telling employees "it is impossible to run a public affairs firm while you are under attack by Fox News and the right wing media". The Podesta Group appeared in the special counsel's investigation into Manafort's finances.

Podesta, 74, is the founder and chairman of the Podesta Group, which has been described by The New York Times as "one of Washington's biggest players".

He will be handing over full operational and financial control to longtime firm CEO Kimberley Fritts. After press reports previous year about their work for the Centre, the Justice Department reached out to Manafort and Gates about the work.

Podesta "was very magnanimous and said, 'This is an fantastic group of people, '" a source told Politico, recalling Tony Podesta's remarks.

Podesta also told staff that he "doesn't intend to go quietly, or learn how to play golf", and he "needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn't want the firm to fight it".

  • Tracy Klein