Former Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta is threatening the Daily Caller with legal action, in response to an article the site published about him on Sunday that accused him of illegally concealing business dealings with a Russia-backed company. Wednesday night, Podesta’s attorney, Marc Elias, tweeted a copy of a cease and desist letter that he sent to Daily Caller publisher Neil Patel that demanded the article be taken down and replaced with a correction.
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) March 29, 2017
The article in question bears the headline, “EXCLUSIVE: John Podesta May Have Violated Federal Law By Not Disclosing 75,000 Stock Shares,” and then discusses how prior to joining the White House in 2014, Podesta was on the board of Joule Unlimited Technologies. Joule Unlimited, the Daily Caller says, gave Podesta 100,000 shares of stock options when he joined in 2010, and when Podesta left to join the White House, he walked away with 75,000 shares of stock. The Daily Caller claims that this form proves that Podesta failed to reveal those shares in his public financial disclosure report.
The article cites various experts who say that if this is true, Podesta would have violated the law by failing to disclose the assets. However, it also quotes Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin, who said last year, “When Podesta went back to the work at the White House, he worked with White House counsel to personally divest from Joule and ensure he was in full compliance with all government ethics rules.”
Elias’ letter to the Daily Caller‘s publisher says, “The article is, as you know, entirely false,” calling it a “libelous claim.” Elias goes on to explain that Podesta disclosed everything he had to and then some, and that as a “New Entrant,” he wasn’t required to fill out the part of the form the article slammed him for leaving blank. Not only that, Elias claims, Podesta completely divested from Joule Unlimited, and still mentioned the company on a different part of the disclosure form.
False stories about me can’t cover up Trump’s growing Russia problem https://t.co/ODkadp3N63
— John Podesta (@johnpodesta) March 29, 2017
LawNewz.com reached out to Patel for comment, but he has not responded at this time.
[Image via NBC screengrab]