Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group lobbying firm, is leaving the company after becoming a subject in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, Politico reports.
The Podesta Group was one of several firms that worked on a campaign called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. The campaign was led by Paul Manafort and promoted Ukraine’s image in the West.
NBC News reported last week that Podesta’s company had worked on a public relations campaign that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had organized to improve Ukraine’s image in the West.
Podesta, a Democratic lobbyist whose brother John was Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign chairman, announced his decision to step down during a company meeting on Monday morning, Politico reported.
According to Politico, which first reported the story, Podesta will be handing over full operational and financial control to the company’s CEO Kimberly Fritts.
In an email to his staff, Podesta reportedly said he was stepping down because he “needs to fight this as an individual, but doesn’t want the firm to fight it,” a person familiar with the farewell speech said.
Dubbed on of DC’s “50 heavy lifters” by the Financial Times and one of “Washington’s biggest players” by The New York Times, Podesta turned his once-modest lobbying firm into a heavy hitter.
But in the wake of the Mueller investigation the Podesta Group has struggled. About a half dozen of its clients have cut ties with the firm this year. The firm brought in an estimated $4.8 million in the third quarter of 2017, down from $6.1 million in the third quarter of 2016.