Former Secretary of State and two-time losing Democrat candidate for President Hillary Clinton was spotted meeting this weekend with figures who feature prominently in an investigation into corruption, spearheaded by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Tony Podesta and Sidney Blumenthal both appeared at Clinton’s 70th birthday party held at Elizabeth Frawley Bagley’s house in Washington, DC, on Sunday, Politico reported. Podesta’s appearance is uncomfortable for Clinton because he and his brother, Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, are currently a focus of Mueller’s corruption investigation with their political consultancy business, the Podesta Group.
The Podesta Group came under the microscope for working with lobbyist Paul Manafort who Mueller indicted on Monday for tax evasion and other charges. Long before he joined Trump’s campaign, in 2012, Manafort worked with the Podestas to lobby Congress on behalf of Ukraine’s bid to join the European Union.
Only hours after news of Mueller’s indictment of Manafort broke, Tony Podesta announced that he was stepping down from the firm that bears his name.
Podesta handed over the operational reins to firm CEO Kimberley Fritts, according to reports on Monday afternoon.
Podesta reportedly said he felt he needed to confront the Mueller investigation as an individual and not while representing the Podesta Group.
White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders Huckabee pointed out that Mueller’s indictments thus far prove that his investigation has “nothing to do with the president.”
“Today’s announcement has nothing to do with the president, and has nothing to do with the president’s campaign or his campaign activity,” Sanders told reporters at the White House on Monday.
Sanders also noted that Trump hasn’t spoken to Manafort in months. “The last known conversation was back all the way to February, and as far as anything beyond that, with Paul, I’m not sure.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.