The US presidential candidate,Hillary Clinton, and her campaign chair, John Podesta, discussed the appropriateness of fundraising from foreign lobbyists for campaign, including from people lobbying for Azerbaijan, Russian Today reports citing Clinton’s emails with Podesta published by WikiLeaks.
According to the article, particularly long email thread discusses what the campaign might do about donations from “foreign agents” – people acting on behalf of foreign entities such as governments. It is highlighted that in April of last year,John Podesta was in an email chain along with a number of key campaign figures over whether to allow those lobbying on behalf of foreign governments to raise money for the campaign.
It was also noted that Tony Podesta – John’s brother, who lobbies for Iraq, Egypt and Azerbaijan among many others – was included in the list of people, with whom Clinton’s campaign figures wanted to collaborate in raising money.
Brothers Tony and John Podesta head the lobbying organization “Podesta Group”, which is Azerbaijan’s main lobbyist in the USA. In February 2015, Azerbaijan’s embassy in the USA increased the organization’s monthly fee from $50000 to $75000.
Reportedly, “Podesta Group’s” registration documents uncovered hundreds of contracts with the US Congress offices, executive agencies, media outlets, and research centers, as a result of which Azerbaijan could “buy influence” in Washington, and many congressmen started to issue statements in favor of the official Baku. At the same time, the well-documented violations of the president Ilham Aliyev’s regime towards its citizens were not mentioned in any statement.