Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta has been linked to an investment firm owned by the Russian government. Moreover, it has been shown that he tried to hide this connection from the U.S. government.
Five years ago, the U.S.-based solar energy startup Joule Unlimited elected Podesta to its board of directors in the hopes that he would help it foster the sorts of international relationships needed for long-term success, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Lo and behold, Podesta did exactly that. Within months of his election to the board, the Russian firm Rusnano announced plans to invest about $35 million in the solar company. Several months later, Joule invited Rusnano’s chairman Anatoly Chubais to join its board of directors.
Note that around this time, Podesta joined then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board, seemingly unconcerned about the potential conflicts of interest at play. This attitude changed in 2014, when he signed up to serve as a counselor to President Barack Obama.
Hacked emails published by WikiLeaks last week showed that in 2014, Podesta asked that his shares in Joule be transferred to a newly created entity called Leonidio Holdings, LLC.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, a Clinton campaign representative confirmed this finding, but claimed that the entity was owned by Podesta’s children — and that his purpose in transferring his holdings to them was to recuse “himself from all matters pertaining to Joule for the duration of his time at the White House.”
Here’s the problem: The emails published by WikiLeaks also revealed that Podesta paid the bill for Leonidio’s incorporation in Delaware — and that he also took care of expenses for some legal work performed for Joule in 2005 by a law firm hired by Leonidio.
Furthermore, the legal work involved the appointment of yet another Rusnano official to Joule’s board of directors. Coincidence or conspiracy? Peter Schweizer, author of the best-selling book “Clinton Cash,” claimed conspiracy.
Specifically, he argued that the formation of Leonidio Holdings, LLC, was just a guise meant to hide Podesta’s continued involvement with Joule.
Thanks to contemporary disclosure laws, however, that guise has now been exposed.
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