It should be a non-issue. Doing business in Russia and most other countries is legal, nothing out-of-the-ordinary about it unless laws are broken.
It matters for Podesta because Trump is irresponsibly bashed for alleged ties to Russian investors, banks and officials – besides fabricated claims of Moscow US election hacking, helping him defeat Hillary. Reportedly he explored Moscow real estate development deals never successfully concluded.
He had dealings with numerous individuals in Russia since the late 1980s. It’s common business practice engaged in by most large, medium, and smaller-sized firms – nothing unusual or illegal about it, nothing justifying bashing him for it.
On Tuesday, an “exclusive” Daily Caller report headlined “Podesta Was Board Member of Firms Linked to Russian Investors,” saying:
Texas House Republican Louie Gohmert wants Congress investigating Podesta for his “role with Rusnano, a state-run company founded by Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
If Democrats can target Trump, unjustifiably claiming improper ties to Russia, despite no credible proof, Republicans can play the same game.
Gohmert apparently wants Podesta to squirm the way Democrats are going at Trump.
According to the Daily Caller, Podesta “first made contact with the Russian firm (Rusnano) in 2011, when he joined the boards and executive committees of three related entities: Boston-based Joule Unlimited; Rotterdam-based Joule Global Holdings; Joule Global Stichting, the company’s controlling interest. All are high-tech renewable energy enterprises.”
When he joined Obama’s White House staff in 2014 as a senior counselor, he failed to reveal his Russian business connections on his financial disclosure form.
WikiLeaks revealed he owns 75,000 Joule common stock shares. Gohmert wants his Russian connection investigated “to see if there…is something nefarious going on…”
He’s vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee subcommittee on crime, terrorism and homeland security.
The Daily Caller said a Neas Ltd v. Rusnano federal lawsuit “before the US District Court for Northern California suggests Podesta and others at Joule may have unwittingly assisted Rusnano in a scheme hatched to move billions of weak rubles into valuable US dollars by parking them as ‘investments’ in high-tech companies in Boston and in Silicon Valley.”
Podesta’s emails show he “help(ed) Rusnano (after he) left Joule’s board. Neither he, Joule or Rusnano so far have commented.