NEW YORK – Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign manager, John Podesta, was on the executive board of a client of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which is at the heart of the the Panama Papers investigation into massive global offshore money-laundering.
The company for which Podesta served as a board member, Joule, also received $35 million from a Putin-connected Russian government fund at the same time then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spearheaded the transfer of U.S. advanced technology, some with military uses, as part of her “reset” strategy with Russia, according to a report titled “From Russia With Money,” released in August by the Government Accountability Institute. “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer is president of GAI, and Steve Bannon, the CEO of the Trump campaign, is a director.
The Russian entities that funneled money to Joule and its related companies, and ultimately to Podesta, include a controversial Russian investor with ties to the Russian government, Viktor Vekselberg, and his Renova Group, a Russian conglomerate with interests in oil, energy and telecommunication.
Vekselberg is a board member of Rusnano, the Russian State Investment Fund, as well as president of the Skolkovo Foundation, named for Russia’s version of Silicon Valley.
Rusnano made a multi-million dollar in Joule Unlimited, a small Massachusetts-based energy company owned by Joule Global Holdings B.V. in the Netherlands, and Joule Global Stichting, the ultimate controlling entity.
Podesta, it turns out, has been paid an undisclosed amount for serving on the executive board of Joule Global Stichting, which he neglected to report to regulatory authorities in the U.S. He also has received consulting fees from the Wyss Foundation, a group controlled by Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss, an investor in Joule Energy.
To complete the circle, Vekselberg, the Renova Group, the Skolkovo Foundation and Wyss all have ties to the Clinton Foundation, either as substantial donors or as participants in the Clinton Global Initiative.
Joule Global Stichting and Joule Global Holdings figure prominently as a client of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which is at the heart of the Panama Papers investigation into offshore money-laundering operations on a massive international scale.
John Podesta’s brother, Tony Podesta, runs the firm that got $180,000 from Uranium One, the Russian government’s uranium company to which Hillary Clinton transferred 20 percent of U.S. uranium.
Schweizer's "Clinton Cash" documents Uranium One funneled millions to the Clinton Foundation as the Russian government gained ownership of the company.
Hillary 'reset' and Podesta’s unreported gains
John Podesta’s personal role in Clinton Foundation offshore banking operations is demonstrated in the major technology transfer from the United States to Russia conducted as part of Hillary Clinton's “reset” policy. The move greatly enhanced the Russian military’s technological capacities, according to both the FBI and the U.S. Army.
The Russia report’s executive summary lays out the case against Podesta:
- Russian government officials and American corporations participated in the technology transfer project overseen by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that funneled tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.
- A Putin-connected Russian government fund transferred $35 million to a small company with Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta on its executive board, which included senior Russian officials.
- Podesta failed to reveal, as required by law on his federal financial disclosures, his membership on the board of this offshore company.
- Podesta also headed up a think tank that wrote favorably about the Russian reset while apparently receiving millions from Kremlin-linked Russian oligarchs via an offshore LLC.
In June and July 2011, while he was advising Clinton on State Department policy, Podesta joined the boards of Joule Unlimited, Joule Global Holdings and Joule Global Stichting.
The Government Accountability Institute report noted Joule was a new company, founded in 2007, pioneering a technology based on harnessing solar energy. Podesta consulted for a foundation run by one of the investors in Joule Energy, Hansjoerg Wyss, who in turn was a major Clinton Foundation donor.
The report documented the Wyss Foundation has given from $1 million to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation. Podesta was paid $87,000 by the Wyss Foundation in 2013, according to federal tax records.
In his 2014 federal government disclosure filing, Podesta declared he divested stock options from Joule, but the disclosure does not cover the years 2011-2012.
Joule Global Stichting was established in Amsterdam on March 14, 2011.
Podesta joined the company’s executive board on June 25, 2011. Joule Stichting is a foundation, but it’s not strictly a foundation in the charitable sense. A foundation of this type, a Dutch Stichting, is a popular means for reducing one’s tax burden, as noted on the website of the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca.
The Government Accountability Institute concluded that although Podesta is listed on the corporate records, he failed to disclose his membership on the board of Joule Stichting in his federal financial disclosure forms when he joined the Obama White House as a senior adviser.
Russian government invests
Two months after Podesta joined the board, the Russian government investment fund Rusnano, the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, founded by Vladimir Putin in 2007, announced it would invest up to $35 million in Joule Unlimited.
On Aug. 1, Bannon and Schweizer co-authored a Breitbart.com article titled “Report: Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Manager John Podesta Sat on Board of Company that Bagged $35 million from Putin-Connected Russian Government Fund.”
“The GAI investigative report says it’s unclear how much, if any, money Podesta made. The reason: Podesta was on the board of three Joule entities, but only listed two on his disclosure; the most important entity, Joule Stichting, he did not list,” Bannon and Schweizer noted. “Why Podesta failed to reveal, as required by law on his federal financial disclosures, his membership on the board of this offshore company is presently unknown.”
Bannon and Schweizer further reported flows of funds from Russia during the “reset” to Podesta-connected entities apparently didn’t end with Joule Energy, as Podesta’s far-left think tank, Center for American Progress, CAP, took in $5.25 million from the Sea Change Foundation between 2010 and 2013. The Sea Change Foundation, it turns out, ties into various entities specifically named and investigated in the Panama Papers, including Klein Ltd. and Troika Dialog Ltd.
Here is what the Government Accountability Institute report had to say about the Sea Change Foundation:
Who was funding Sea Change Foundation? According to tax records, Sea Change Foundation at the time was receiving a large infusion of funds from a mysterious Bermuda-based entity called ‘Klein, Ltd.’ … Who owns Klein? It is impossible to say exactly, given corporate secrecy laws in Bermuda. But the registered agent and lawyers who set up the offshore entity are tied to a handful of Russian business entities including Troika Dialog, Ltd. Leadership includes Ruben Vardanyan, an ethnic Armenian who is a mega oligarch in Putin’s Russia. Vardanyan also served on the board of Joule Energy with John Podesta.
“Why Hillary Clinton’s State Department and her campaign manager were tied up in this raises serious questions that demand answers and transparency,” Bannon and Schweizer concluded.