The Podesta family seems particularly adept at earning extraordinary sums of money via selling out the American public. Earlier this year, I highlighted how John Podesta’s brother Tony was paid $140,000 per month by the medieval monarchy of Saudi Arabia. After all, who cares about women’s rights when the pay is good?
Here’s a excerpt from the post, “Getting Things Done” – The Brother of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chair is a Major Lobbyist for Saudi Arabia:
The kingdom employs a total of eight American firms that perform lobbying, consulting, public relations and legal work.
Five of the firms work for the Saudi Arabia Embassy, while another two — Podesta Group and BGR Group — have registered to represent the Center for Studies and Media Affairs at the Saudi Royal Court, an arm of the government. PR giant Edelman, meanwhile, is working for the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority to encourage international investment.
The Podesta Group is billing Saudi Arabia $140,000 a month for its public relations services. During the last few months of 2015, it sent 27 emails, had two phone calls and one meeting with lawmakers and staffers, journalists, and organizations including Human Rights Watch and the Center for American Progress, disclosure forms show.
DLA Piper receives $50,000 a month from the kingdom and sent hundreds of emails to top congressional staffers between September and the end of February regarding meeting requests and, more generally, “issues affecting U.S.-Saudi Arabia national security interests.”
Notice the firm DLA Piper mentioned above. You’ll want to remember that for later.
Moving along, the Podestas are diligent about making sure everyone gets to feed at the trough, including extended family.
As James Rosen of Fox News uncovers:
Amid the tumult of the 2016 presidential campaign, John Podesta is best known as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman and the individual from whose private account WikiLeaks is presently publishing some 50,000 hacked emails.
For several months in 2012, Clinton’s final year as secretary of state, Raytheon, the leading defense contractor, hired Podesta’s sister-in-law, Heather Podesta, as a lobbyist, federal records show.
Raytheon was looking to enlarge its share of foreign military sales – transfers of advanced weapons systems to other countries that are reviewed and approved by the Department of State, then implemented by the Department of Defense – and was beefing up its lobbying operation to accomplish that goal before Secretary Clinton left office.
At the same time, Raytheon retained two other lobbyists, John Merrigan and Matt Bernstein, both associated with the powerhouse D.C. law firm DLA Piper. All three of these lobbyists, including Ms. Podesta, were major donors or bundlers to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 campaigns. Federal records show they have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Clinton’s campaigns and earned hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying her State Department.
There’s DLA Piper again. They appears to have their fingers in all realms of the military-industrial complex cookie jar.
In the final three quarters of 2012, DLA Piper earned some $360,000 in lobbying fees from Raytheon, courting the State Department and other agencies, while Ms. Podesta, within that same time frame, received $100,000 from Raytheon for the same purpose.
The gambit appears to have worked: Records maintained by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the arm of the Defense Department that coordinates the transfers of weapons systems once they have received State’s approval, show Raytheon as a prime contractor in at least seventeen foreign military sales in 2012, worth an estimated total of $26 billion. Of those contracts, three with the Gulf nation of Qatar – for missile defense, Apache attack helicopters and other materiel – accounted for $19 billion.
The individual at the State Department who was statutorily entrusted to approve foreign military sales was Andrew Shapiro, the assistant secretary of state for political and military affairs. Prior to his nomination to that job, Shapiro had served as Clinton’s national security adviser in her Senate office. Today, Shapiro is a partner in a Washington consulting firm whose other co-founders include Philippe Reines, Clinton’s longtime press aide.
You starting to see how all this works?
The firm mentioned above is Beacon Global Strategies, and I covered them in this summer’s post: New York Times Fails to Disclose Op-Ed Writer’s Ties to Hillary Clinton’s ‘Principal Gatekeeper’.
After Clinton stepped down as secretary of state in February 2013, Raytheon discontinued the services of Heather Podesta + Partners, and ceased its use of DLA Piper at State.
While experts do not believe any laws were broken, the affair illustrates how Washington worked in the first Obama term, and particularly at the Clinton State Department. The Raytheon operation bears some similarity to a pop-up store that materializes to serve a seasonal need, such as Halloween candy or July Fourth fireworks, then vanishes once that need has been met.
“I think this is as close an example of pay-to-play as we’ve seen,” said Raj Shah, deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee. “And that’s why [Raytheon] made these hires [of Heather Podesta, Merrigan and Bernstein]. … Their experience was getting access to Hillary Clinton and raising money for her.”
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