The ongoing release of emails obtained and made public by WikiLeaks is continuing to plague Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton and her staff. One in particular calls into question the ties between Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The emails in question outline an issue with 75,000 shares of an energy company, Joule Unlimited, for which Podesta had up to 100,000 shares of stock options. The email makes it clear that the 75,000 shares Podesta did own were transferred to Leonidio Holdings, LLC. Interestingly, Breitbart reports that the address on financial documents for Leonidio Holdings happens to be the home address of Megan Rouse, Podesta’s daughter and a managing member of the holding company. Podesta reportedly received the stock options as at least partial compensation for serving on the board of directors of Joule Unlimited.
As a businessman, this type of arrangement doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary. But when you consider Podesta’s political roles as well as a major donor to Joule Unlimitd, then the situation becomes quite sticky for Podesta and now for Clinton. A GAI report on the matter states, “Two months after Podesta joined the board, Vladimir Putin’s Rusnano announced that it would invest up to one billion rubles into Joule Unlimited, which amounts to $35 million. That represents one-fifth of the entire amount of investment dollars Joule collected from 2007 to 2013.” Further, Podesta failed to report his involvement with Joule Unlimited before he joined President Obama’s team as a senior advisor in 2014.
In an effort to avoid the perception of impropriety, Republican Party nominee Donald Trump’s campaign has demanded that Podesta explain the situation or resign his current position with the Clinton campaign.
The Clinton campaign continues to avoid the fallout from the WikiLeaks emails by focusing on the allegations that they originated from a Russian hack. Clinton and her representatives have repeatedly dismissed the emails without questioning their accuracy based on the argument that they originated from at attempt at Russian influence of this year’s presidential election. Perhaps the Russians have already had a foothold into American politics all along. If so, that’s terrifying. And it’s certainly something voters deserve to know more about prior to election day.