Tony Podesta and his lobbying firm the Podesta Group are under federal investigation by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller in connection with the Russia investigation, three sources told NBC News.
The firm, co-founded by Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta, was subpoenaed in late August along with three other public relations firms who worked with former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort during a 2012-2014 lobbying effort for a pro-Ukraine think tank - the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU) - tied to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.
Yanukovych fled from Ukraine to Russia after he was unseated in a 2014 coup.
Two of the subpoenaed firms include Paul Manafort's Mercury, LLC and the Podesta Group, founded by John and Tony Podesta and operated by the latter.
Manafort’s firm earned $17 million between 2012 – 2014 consulting for Yanukovych’s centrist, pro-Russia ‘Party of Regions.’ During the same period, Manafort oversaw a lobbying campaign for the pro-Russia “Centre for a Modern Ukraine,” a Brussels based think tank linked to Yanukovych which was pushing for Ukraine’s entry into the European Union.
The Podesta group, operating under Manafort, earned over $1.2 million as part of that effort.
In a statement to NBC, a spokesman for the Podesta Group said the firm "is cooperating fully with the Special Counsel's office and has taken every possible step to provide documentation that confirms timely compliance. In all of our client engagements, the Podesta Group conducts due diligence and consults with appropriate legal experts to ensure compliance with disclosure regulations at all times — and we did so in this case."