Thanks to some investigative journalism from the Daily Caller, John Podesta has a lot to explain when it comes to his own connections to Russia.After running a story last month alleging that Podesta violated federal laws by failing to disclose his receipt of 75,000 shares of stock from a Kremlin-financed company when he joined Obama’s White House in 2014, the Daily Caller found themselves hit with a cease-and-desist letter from Podeata’s lawyer, Marc E. Elias.
“The article is, as you know, completely false,” it claims, continuing that “Mr. Podesta completely and accurately fulfilled his financial disclosure requirements upon entering the Obama Administration in 2014. In fact, Mr. Podesta reported more information on his financial disclosure forms than was reported.”
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) March 29, 2017
Speaking of accuracy, The DC would’ve gotten the memo a bit sooner had Podesta’s lawyer not sent it to the wrong address.
You have the wrong address. https://t.co/rci8t8KjdX
— Alex Pappas (@AlexPappas) March 29, 2017
Regardless, in the DC’s response they pointed out how empty the potential lawsuit is, noting that they reached out to Podesta on three occasions prior to publication of their article, with no response. The cease-and-desist letter also didn’t deny that:
> Mr. Podesta was entitled to receive 75,000 shares of Joule stock upon ceasing involvement with that company.
> Joule accepted 1 billion rubles — or $35 million — from Rusnano, a state-run and financed Russian company with close ties to President Vladimir Putin. Do connections to Russia only matter when they’re Trump’s alleged connections?
> Mr. Podesta served on Joule’s board with three top Russian executives.
> On December 20, 2013, just prior to joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Podesta caused a Delaware LLC called Leonidio Holdings to be created, listing the address of his daughter in the LLC incorporation papers, and his mother and father appear to be co-owners of Leonidio.
> On January 4, 2014, Mr. Podesta directed Joule’s corporate secretary to transfer 33,693 shares of Joule be transferred to Leonidio.
> There is no documentation that the remaining Joule shares were transferred to anyone other than Mr. Podesta.
Elias also claimed Podesta disclosed his “complete divestment” of [his] ownership interest” in “75,000 common shares in Joule Global Holdings, to an entity that was not owned by Mr. Podesta, his wife or any dependent children.” Joule Global Holdings is a Netherlands-based investment holding company, according to Bloomberg. In reality, Podesta only directed Joule to transfer 33,693 shares, with no explanation of what he did with the remaining 41,307 shares.
The transferred shares went to Leonidio Holdings, a Delaware LLC, Podesta caused to be incorporated Dec. 20, 2013, a few days before becoming a senior adviser on former President Barack Obama’s White House staff.
How does Elias want the Daily Caller to correct their article in light of this information? By reporting that in fact, Podesta only aimed to hide half his stake in Joules from the public?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]