WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Special Counsel Robert Mueller has shifted the focus of the ongoing investigation into Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election to Tony Podesta and his Democratic-leaning lobbying firm Podesta Group, NBC News reported, citing sources.
According to the media report, the inquiry grew out of Mueller's examination of the finances of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to the sources.
Manafort had reportedly organized a public relations campaign for the non-profit organization European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU), to promote Ukraine's image in the West. Podesta's company was allegedly engaged in the campaign.
Under FARA, people who lobby on behalf of foreign governments or political entities must file certain disclosure forms about their activities with the Justice Department.
Mueller has been probing Manafort’s financial dealings as part of a probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race, a claim refuted by Moscow as groundless and dubbed a "witch hunt" by the US president.
Most recently, Trump urged the Department of Justice to terminate the ongoing investigation as no evidence had been found.