REPORT: Prosecutors ramp up foreign lobbying probe linking Manafort to Podesta Group
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Spinning off from the special counsel’s Russia probe, prosecutors are ramping up their investigation into foreign lobbying by two major Washington firms that did work for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to people familiar with the matter.
The investigation had been quiet for months since special counsel Robert Mueller referred it to authorities in Manhattan because it 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, the people familiar with the inquiry said. They spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing work.
The article goes on to state the following:
In New York, Mueller’s referral prompted a fresh look at the lobbying firms of Washington insiders Tony Podesta and Vin Weber, who have faced scrutiny for their decisions not to register as foreign agents for Ukrainian lobbying work directed by Manafort.
CLICK HERE to read the full report by the Associate Press.
NEW: Prosecutors are ramping up their probe into Tony Podesta and his lobbying work. https://t.co/FDrVlnsjEh
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) December 5, 2018
New: There’s been a flurry of recent activity in the Justice Department foreign lobbying investigation in NY as prosecutors have moved to bring in witnesses tied to the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs. W/@desmondbutler @ChadSDay https://t.co/1VxqIvDSiG
— Eric Tucker (@etuckerAP) December 5, 2018
Mueller’s enforcement of the FARA law has led federal prosecutors to the doorstep of two of DC’s most powerful lobbying shops, one of which folded under the pressure.
Both registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act instead of as Foreign Agents.https://t.co/TK9zBJGBV1
— Grant Stern (@grantstern) December 5, 2018
AP says prosecutors in recent weeks have begun interviewing witnesses and contacting lawyers to schedule additional questioning related to the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs. Those matters were referrals Mueller made to SDNY earlier this year. https://t.co/GCYGo1mhAv
— erica orden (@eorden) December 5, 2018
New: Federal prosecutors in SDNY have moved in recent weeks to bring in witnesses tied to the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs as they pursue a foreign lobbying investigation referred by Mueller. https://t.co/VxI0qUwWrd
— Chad Day (@ChadSDay) December 5, 2018
— The Hill (@thehill) December 5, 2018
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