On Jan. 18, 2011, a small green-energy company named Joule Unlimited announced Podesta’s appointment to its board. Months later, Rusnano, a Kremlin-backed investment fund founded by Vladimir Putin, pumped $35 million into Joule. Serving alongside Podesta on Joule’s board were senior Russian official Anatoly Chubais and oligarch Ruben Vardanyan, who has been appointed by Putin to a Russian economic-modernization council.
Bartiromo asked Podesta why he failed to disclose his role in Joule as required by law when he entered the White House in January 2014 to serve as counselor to President Barack Obama.
“Maria, that’s not true. I fully disclosed and was completely compliant,” Podesta shot back.
But according to his own financial-disclosure form, Podesta only listed two of the three entities that made up Joule Unlimited, failing to disclose his presence on the board of the Dutch-registered Stichting Joule Global Foundation.
When Bartiromo pressed Podesta on the whereabouts of his 75,000 shares of Joule stock, Podesta resorted to Clintonesque semantics: “I didn’t have any stock in any Russian company!”
Notice the rhetorical sleight of tongue there: Joule is based in Massachusetts, not Russia, making Podesta’s statement technically true. Podesta added: “And by the way, I divested before I went into the White House.”
Yet again, it’s not that simple. WikiLeaks documents reveal that when he joined the Obama White House, Podesta transferred his Joule shares to an LLC controlled by his adult children. He also resumed communicating with Joule and Joule investors after leaving the White House and joining Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In fact, he received an invoice from his lawyers in April 2015 — a consent request for Dmitry Akhanov of Rusnano USA to join Joule’s board.
But nothing to see here, Podesta insisted.