ZeroHedge, in a recent article, reports that:
Chinese tech giant Huawei paid Democratic lobbyist and donor Tony Podesta $500,000 to lobby the White House during the third quarter – the same period in which the Biden DOJ struck a deal to allow Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou to return home from Canada, where she was awaiting extradition to face criminal charges in the US.
Whether Podesta spirit-cooked up Wanzhou’s release is unknown, however the White House says they had nothing to do with it – and that the company is still subject to trade restrictions.
ZeroHedge’s information is confirmed by a lobbying disclosure Podesta had to file recently. In the disclosure, Podesta openly admits that he took $500,000 to lobby for the Chinese technology firm. The barebones form declares that Podesta lobbied the “White House Office” on “Issues related to telecommunication services and impacted trade issues.”
The Hill notes that Mr. Podesta’s lobbying blitz comes as “The embattled Chinese telecom is pushing President Biden to undo a Trump administration order that bars it from doing business with American companies, including key partners such as Google, Qualcomm and Intel. U.S. officials have accused Huawei of using its technology to spy on Americans on behalf of Beijing, an allegation it denies.”
The Hill also reports that Mr. Podesta was not the only American paid to lobby on behalf of the CCP-connected company. According to it, “Overall, Huawei spent nearly $1.4 million on federal lobbying in the third quarter of 2021, according to lobbying disclosures filed with Congress. That’s up from just $100,000 during the same period last year and less than $1.1 million in the second quarter.”
As a reference, Fox reports that “Huawei was designated a national security threat by the Federal Communications Commission last year because of its “close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and China’s military apparatus,” according to former FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.” It was also charged with 13 counts of fraud and conspiracy to steal trade secrets. The conspiracy charge was part of a larger RICO violation charge, which is typically a method by which the DOJ attacks organized crime.
While the sum paid to Mr. Podesta is shocking, the fact that he is working for a CCP-affiliated company is not. Back in July of 2021, Politico reported that “Huawei is hiring Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta as a consultant, according to two people familiar with the matter. Podesta will aim to help the controversial Chinese telecom giant warm relations with the Biden administration.”
And, as Politico also reported at the time, Huawei isn’t even Podesta’s first CCP-affiliated lobbying client: “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.”
Nor has Mr. Podesta avoided other controversies in his lobbying career. As ZeroHedge reported:
Podesta‘s now-defunct lobbying firm earned hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying for Russian-owned mining company Uranium One during the same period that the Clinton Foundation was receiving millions from individuals connected to the U1 transaction.
The Podesta Group ended 2015 as Washington DC’s third-largest lobbying firm – with nearly $30 million in revenue from over 100 clients. After a string of embarrassing news reports, including a failure to improperly report a $300,000 shipping expense for Tony’s art collection, employees set up a system to prevent Mr. Podesta from being reimbursed by the company for personal expenditures, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In 2016, SunTrust bank severed ties with the Podesta Group when they discovered that they were doing work for a U.S. subsidiary of a sanctioned Russian bank – presumably Russias Kremlin-owned Sberbank, which paid the Podesta group $170,000 over a 6 month period through September 2016 to lobby against 2014 economic sanctions by the Obama administration.
So, Mr. Podesta once lobbied on the behalf of Russian entities and, after a brief, investigation induced retirement while the Trump Administration was in charge, returned to lobby on behalf of Huawei, a national security threat that has attempted to steal US trade secrets and is being prosecuted under the same statutes used to break the back of organized crime.
The White House, for its part, told CNBC that “President Biden and this administration believe digital infrastructure equipment made by untrustworthy vendors, like Huawei, pose a threat to the security of the U.S., our allies, and our partners. Export controls against Huawei remain in place.” However, with Ms. Meng Wanzhou’s release, it is unclear just how true that statement really is.