Emails: John Podesta Gave His Lobbyist Brother Special Access to the Obama White House

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A trove of newly released emails suggest that while serving as counselor to President Obama, John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, helped his brother and Washington, D.C. power lobbyist Tony Podesta’s clients get special favors.

Days before Obama was to sign into law bill 2014-H.R. 1726 — awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to an infantry unit from Puerto Rico — Tony, who was lobbying for the Puerto Rican government at the time, reached out to John asking for “help” with getting Alejandro Garcia Padilla an invite to the signing ceremony.

“Agnew invited PR gov to bill signing tomorrow am,” Tony wrote to John in an email on June 9, 2014, referencing Obama’s Puerto Rico task force co-chair, David Agnew.

“But pierluisi is on stage as cosponsor[.] Gov got bill thru senate but got stiffed at signing[.] Help? Advice?” Tony continued, referring to Padilla’s political rival Pedro Pierluisi, resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, who’s currently running for Governor of Puerto Rico.

The hacked emails don’t reveal John Podesta’s response to Tony’s request for “advice” and “help,” but official photos of the June 11 bill signing place Padilla on stage, just feet away from the president.

The most recent dump of WikiLeaks of hacked emails also shows how John Podesta — still serving as counselor to President Obama — solicited a campaign contribution for his daughter Megan Rouse from a powerful K street lobbyist named Jim Davidson.

Rouse was running in 2014 to secure a full term on a local school board in California.

“While you probably aren’t too vested in the outcome of local California school board races, we hope you can support her candidacy, even at a modest level, as she begins her career as an elected official,” John Podesta wrote to Davidson, whose client list at the time included the likes of Disney and CBS.

“Good to get in on the ground floor,” John Podesta wrote.

According to the email, Tony Podesta had originally reached out to Davidson inviting him to the event.

“I will be there – Sorry I did not receive Tony’s email,” Davidson wrote to John Podesta. “I have a reception for Nancy Pelosi and will come over after that.”

With the help of one of President Obama’s closest advisers, Rouse secured a seat as a Dublin School Board Trustee.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson


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