by WorldTribune Staff, July 25, 2021
Tony Podesta, who boasts a spot among the elite of Democrat Party insiders, has been hired to lobby for Huawei, which is tied closely to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and is considered a national security threat by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Podesta, who has known Joe Biden for decades and is close with a number of his advisers, will now be lobbying Team Biden on behalf of the Chinese tech giant which in February 2020 was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO — a key DOJ tool for going after organized crime.
He also “lives down the street from former President Barack Obama in the glitzy D.C. neighborhood of Kalorama. His brother John was a counselor for Obama as well as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton,” Politico noted in a Friday report.
The FCC this year renewed its designation of Huawei as national security threat. D.C. insiders say Team Biden has followed the Trump administration’s lead in taking tough stance against Huawei, especially on its efforts to help install 5G equipment in U.S.-allied countries.
“Telecommunications equipment made by untrusted vendors is a threat to the security of the U.S. and our allies,” a Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) spokesperson told Fox Business earlier this month.
“We will ensure that American telecommunications networks do not use equipment from untrusted vendors and will work with allies to secure their telecommunications networks and make investments to expand the production of telecommunications equipment by trusted U.S. and allied companies,” the spokesperson also said. “Huawei’s ties to China’s military, human rights abuses, and theft of intellectual property are a source of deep concern, and the U.S. government is committed to taking regulatory action to ensure our policies reflect that concern.”
Podesta was forced to out of the lobbying game after becoming ensnared in the Mueller investigation for allegedly not properly disclosing his lobbying on behalf of Ukranian interests in work with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Podesta was never charged but ceased his D.C. work.
After Biden was installed in the White House, however, Podesta indicated to The New York Times that his interest in lobbying was revived.
Podesta, who said he had been subsisting on income from his art collection, told the New York Times earlier this month: “I don’t want to recreate what I had, but I sort of miss working, and art alone doesn’t sustain me, because I love politics.”
Huawei is not Podesta’s first major China client.
According to a 2018 report by Inside Higher Ed, disclosure forms show that his former company also represented the China-United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF), which funds a host of activities in the U.S. The University of Texas at Austin in 2018 rejected a funding offer from the foundation because of concerns about its links to the Chinese Communist Party.