The Rise and Fall of Tony Podesta

Tony Podesta’s lobbying firm ended in 2015 as the third largest in Washington D.C., according to the Wall Street Journal. The firm had about 30 million dollars in revenue from over 100 different clients from Google to Wells Fargo. His firm had great potential with Hillary Clinton on the 2016 Presidential ballot as well. Podesta was one of Washington’s most influential players.

Until it all fell apart.

In 2016, with “financial problems, legal threats and the election of President Donald Trump,” his clients all disappeared. This tumble from the throne occurred due to Podesta’s ties to Paul Manafort- Trump’s former campaign manager- and questions about whether the firm did work for a Russian bank under sanctions. One of the few things that could have saved Podesta’s status would have been the election of Hillary Clinton, however that did not go to plan for him either. Then, Podesta decided to step down from the firm.

During the heyday of the Podesta group, Mr. Podesta “drew an annual salary of more than two million dollars and made millions more in commissions and bonuses.” According to fundraising records, “he and Heather Podesta together donated more money to the Democratic Party and its candidates than any other Washington lobbyists in the past decade.” Podesta not only ruled Washington lobbyists, but he was also the socialite, restauranteur and art collector every Washington insider strived to be. However, his love of art drove a wedge between him and Mrs. Podesta and they eventually filed for divorce in 2014. After the divorce, Podesta began to take on clients simply for their monetary value, such as the NRA, much to the dismay of his Democratic Party base supporters and his own employees. One lobbyist quit and cost the Podesta Group two million dollars in revenue. Podesta’s overseas business doubled from 2011 to 2015. His clients included the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Iraq and the government of South Sudan.

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