Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta sat on the board of a small energy company alongside Russian officials that received $35 million from a Putin-connected Russian government fund, a relationship Podesta failed to fully disclose on his federal financial disclosures as required by law.
That’s one of the many revelations from a 56-page report released late Sunday titled “From Russia with Money: Hillary Clinton, the Russian Reset, and Cronyism” by the non-partisan government watchdog group, the Government Accountability Institute (GAI). Breitbart Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon holds the same title in GAI and Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer serves as GAI’s president.
As part of her duties during the so-called Russian reset, then-Sec. of State Hillary Clinton led the way on U.S. involvement in a Russian government technology initiative that was intended to be the Russian equivalent of America’s Silicon Valley known as Skolkovo. The “innovation city,” located outside Moscow, has some 30,000 workers in state-of-the-art facilities under strict government control. As Slate described it in 2013, “In some ways, Skolkovo is eerily reminiscent of Soviet utopian city-building projects.”
According to the GAI report, Clinton’s State Dept. recruited U.S. tech giants like Google, Cisco, Intel. Indeed, out of 28 U.S., European, and Russian companies that participated in Skolkovo, 17 of them were Clinton Foundation donors or paid for speeches by Bill Clinton.
However, as involvement in Skolkovo by Clinton cronies increased, so, too, did the danger for the technology coming out of the Russian tech mecca to be used for Russian military purposes.
In 2014, the FBI issued what it called “an extraordinary warning” to several technology companies involved with Skolkovo. “The [Skolkovo] foundation may be a means for the Russian government to access our nation’s sensitive or classified research development facilities and dual-use technologies with military and commercial application,” warned Lucia Ziobro, the assistant special agent at the FBI’s Boston office. She added: “The FBI believes the true motives of the Russian partners, who are often funded by the government, is to gain access to classified, sensitive, and emerging technology from the companies.”
Still, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta sat on the executive board of a small energy company called Joule Unlimited. Joule, too, received the FBI letter warning about Skolkovo. Other Joule board members included senior Russian officials. According to the GAI report: “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.”
Rusnano, which former Russian education and science minister and current science advisor to Vladmir Putin Andrei Fursenko describes as “Putin’s child,” was founded by Putin in 2007.
The GAI investigative report says it’s unclear how much, if any, money Podesta made. The reason: Podesta was on the board of three Joule entities, but only listed two on his disclosure; the most important entity, Joule Stichting, he did not list. “Podesta’s compensation by Joule cannot be fully determined,” reads the report. “In his 2014 federal government disclosure filing, Podesta lists that he divested stock options from Joule. However, the disclosure does not cover the years 2011-2012.”
Why Podesta failed to reveal, as required by law on his federal financial disclosures, his membership on the board of this offshore company is presently unknown.
“But the flows of funds from Russia during the ‘reset’ to Podesta-connected entities apparently didn’t end with Joule Energy,” the report states. According to the GAI report, Podesta’s far-left think tank, Center for American Progress (CAP), took in $5.25 million from the Sea Change Foundation between 2010-2013.
Who was funding Sea Change Foundation? According to tax records, Sea Change Foundation at the time was receiving a large infusion of funds from a mysterious Bermuda-based entity called ‘Klein, Ltd.’…Who owns Klein? It is impossible to say exactly, given corporate secrecy laws in Bermuda. But the registered agent and lawyers who set up the offshore entity are tied to a handful of Russian business entities including Troika Dialog, Ltd. Leadership includes Ruben Vardanyan, an ethnic Armenian who is a mega oligarch in Putin’s Russia. Vardanyan also served on the board of Joule Energy with John Podesta.
The FBI and U.S. Army sounded the alarm bells about Skolkovo being a threatening pathway for Russia to accelerate its military technological capabilities. Why Hillary Clinton’s State Dept and her campaign manager were tied up in this raises serious questions that demand answers and transparency.
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