The head of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign failed to disclose his role on the board of an energy company that received as much as $35 million in funds from Rusnano, a Kremlin-backed investment fund, according to a new report.
The report, published Sunday by the Government Accountability Institute, said that John Podesta, who served as President Bill Clinton's chief of staff and this year as chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, joined the board of three related companies in 2011 for what was referred to in a press release as his "considerable expertise ... in the realm of public policy [and] partnering with the public sector."
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The companies included Massachusetts-based Joule Unlimited; its holding company, Joule Global Holdings in the Netherlands; and Joule Global Stichting, which GAI noted as the apparent controlling entity and was also based in the Netherlands.
But the report said Podesta "failed to reveal, as required by law on his federal financial disclosures, his membership on the board of this offshore company."
Two months later, the company received a $35 million payday from Rusnano, an investment fund focused on nanotechnology. The fund, authorized by the Russian parliament in 2007, is backed by state subsidies, and its controlling officers are appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The amount of compensation that Podesta received for his contribution to the company is unclear. He filed disclosure papers for Joule Unlimited and Joule Global Holdings, but not for Joule Global Stichting.
While Podesta is listed on Joule's corporate records, he similarly failed to disclose his participation with the company on federal financial disclosure forms when in 2014 he joined the Obama administration as a senior advisor.
The report also calls into question the extent to which Clinton associates were rewarded for Clinton's assistance to the Skolkovo Foundation, a tech-centered Russian nonprofit, with obtaining funding from American companies. The report notes that of 28 American, European and Russian companies that provided assistance to the foundation, 17 were linked to the Clinton Foundation.
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It is the second time this year that Podesta has been linked to dealings involving the Russian government. The Podesta Group, a lobbying firm that includes Podesta's brother, Tony Podesta, filed disclosure forms in March to lobby in the U.S. on behalf of the Sberbank of Russia. The Russian government holds a controlling number of shares in the bank.
The Podesta Group also listed three affiliated entities on the forms: the Luxembourg-based SB International, Cyprus-based SBGB and the Troika Dialogue Group. Documents leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca in March indicated the network of entities were being used by Putin's associates to conceal at least several billion in assets.