Podesta Group may close by the end of the year: report
The lobbying firm founded by longtime Democratic operative Tony Podesta is reportedly on the verge of shuttering after being swept up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
Kimberley Fritts, the Podesta Group’s chief executive, told employees on Thursday that the firm would not exist at the end of the year and that they would likely not be paid through the end of November, sources told CNN.
Fritts announced her resignation from the top Washington lobbying group after Podesta left the company amid ties to indictments filed in the Russia investigation.
The Podesta Group was hired along with another firm to do work for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner Richard Gates, who are facing charges of covering up years of work for a pro-Russia Ukrainian political party and laundering their profits to avoid U.S. detection.
The indictments against Manafort and Gates say that the two did not properly register as foreign agents for their consulting work with the Ukrainian groups. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
Mueller is now investigating whether the Podesta Group properly identified to U.S. authorities its foreign work on behalf of a Ukrainian advocacy group in Europe, CNN reported.
Fritts is beginning work on launching a new firm. Her last day at the company Friday created new uncertainty for the Podesta Group after the departure of Podesta on Oct. 30.
Multiple employees who spoke to The Hill said the mood at the firm was mostly optimistic, though they said many of the firm’s dozens of employees could be in limbo as Fritts sets up the new firm and brings Podesta Group talent and clients with her.
Staff said the transition to the new firm would take place in weeks, not months, while senior members of the firm have been trying to keep as many clients as possible.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.