Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, has confirmed that it hired the consultancy of Tony Podesta, the elder brother of John Podesta who chaired Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, for lobbying its interests in the United States and proactively seeking the removal of various Obama-era sanctions, the press service of the Russian institution told TASS on Thursday.
“The New York office of Sberbank CIB indeed hired Podesta Group. Engagement of external consultants is part of standard business practices for us,” Sberbank said.
Podesta is one of the Democrat’s highest profile lobbyists who enjoys close personal and business connections to former Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton. John Podesta was chief of staff in Clinton’s White House and special counselor in the Obama White House.
Some more details on the meeting: joining the Podesta lobbying campaign was David Adams, who describes himself on the Podesta Group website as a “trusted adviser” to Hillary Clinton, serving as her as assistant secretary of state for congressional affairs. Another Podesta lobbyist was Stephen Rademaker, a former Department of State official in the George W. Bush administration. The Podesta Group represented Sberbank and its subsidiaries, Troika Dialog Group in the Cayman Islands, SBGB Cyprus Ltd in Nicosia, Cyprus, and SB International in Luxembourg. Troika Dialog also was related to Klein, Ltd., a Cayman Island organization that once funneled tens of millions of dollars to environmental groups to oppose low-cost fracking in the U.S., which was hurting the Russian oil industry.
Regular readers will recall that the Sberbank-Podesta relationship goes back many years. Sberbank was the lead financial institution in the Russian deal to purchase Uranium One, owned by one of Bill Clinton’s closest friends, Frank Giustra. Giustra and Bill Clinton lead the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an integral part of the Clinton Foundation. Giustra has additionally donated $25 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Giustra sought to sell his stake in uranium reserves that included ore deposits in the Western United States, and Hillary Clinton, who as secretary of state, approved the sale. And in one felled swoop, 20 percent of America’s uranium ore was sold to the Russian state atomic agency.
During the pending sale, the Podesta Group represented Giustra’s company and tried to advance the transaction.
We do not expect to read about the Podesta lobbying relationship with Russia’s largest bank in such truth-seeking, at least according to their ad campaigns, publications as the NYT and/or WaPo.