Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary Clinton’s national chairman, John Podesta, received $170,000 last year as a representative of Russian bank Sberbank, which sought to put an end to an Obama-era sanction in that country, per The Daily Caller.
Podesta’s firm, Podesta Group, received more than $24 million in fees in 2016—much of which was paid by foreign governments that year.
Check it out:
The lobbying campaign targeted Congress and the executive branch, with Podesta and other lobbyists arranging at least two meetings between Sberbank officers and Department of State officials, according to Elena Teplitskaya, Sberbank’s board chairman, who spoke to House aides in August.
The discovery of high-profile Democrats like Podesta being paid lucrative fees for lobbying to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia contrasts with charges from Democrats that President Donald Trump and his key aides are soft on Russia while the Obama administration was tough on Moscow.
Podesta’s efforts were a key part of under-the-radar lobbying during the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign led mainly by veteran Democratic strategists to remove sanctions against Sberbank and VTB Capital, Russia’s second largest bank.
This news comes as the meetings that occurred between Trump officials and the Russian ambassador appear increasingly less suspicious and more run-of-the-mill.
Who’s got the real Russia problem now—huh, Democrats?