Former Podesta Group employees have spilled the beans about their former boss, Tony Podesta – in a scathing Wall Street Journal article which details the firm’s collapse. As part of the report, The Journal got its hands on “internal Podesta Group accounting,” as well as “financial documents, calendars and communications.”
The D.C. lobbying firm founded in 1993 by John and Tony Podesta folded shop following Hillary Clinton’s monumental loss in the 2016 US election, when a flood of clients ran for the door virtually overnight, realizing the Podesta Group’s influence ended with the Clinton campaign.
The Journal describes Tony Podesta’s fall as a “calamitous collapse” following the 2016 US election:
Then he fell, a calamitous collapse propelled by unexpected blows, delivered by fate and made worse by hubris. Financial problems, legal threats and the election of President Donald Trump took it all away—the clients, the firm and, finally, Mr. Podesta’s position as one of Washington’s most influential players.
Here are some cliff notes from the report:
The Podesta Group ended 2015 as Washington D.C.’s third largest Lobbying firm, with nearly $30 million in revenue from over 100 clients – who promptly bailed after Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election. That didn’t seem to bother Tony.
The string of embarrassing news accounts disturbed many of the Podesta Group’s corporate clients, companies that preferred to stay clear of such publicity. Mr. Podesta operated as if the whole mess would soon blow over. -WSJ
The Podesta Group got in trouble for the IRS for improperly reporting a $300,000 shipping expense for Tony Podesta’s art, after which he began billing his firm $360,000 a year to rent pieces displayed at the office.
Employees of the Podesta Group set up a system to prevent Mr. Podesta from being reimbursed by the company for personal expenditures. A 36-page instruction manual for Mr. Podesta’s executive assistants included this directive: “It is up to you and your best judgment as to what gets reimbursed.”