Sberbank allegedly has close ties to Russia’s intelligence services, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.
Marc Raimondi, the national security spokesman at the Department of Justice, confirmed to TheDCNF that neither the Podesta Group nor Sberbank ever registered with the department under FARA.
“The FARA Registration Unit personnel conducted a search related to your questions and can confirm that the search terms – Sberbank CIB USA, Inc., or Sberbank – are not currently (nor previously have been) registered under FARA,” he informed TheDCNF in an email.
The lobbying group of Manatos & Manatos – Podesta’s competition — did register with the Justice Department under FARA when it agreed to represent VTB Capital, Russia’s second largest bank.
David Marin of the Podesta Group told TheDCNF it acted “appropriately” by instead filing with the U.S. Senate under the Lobbying Disclosure Act — or LDA. He justified the move, in part, because its contract was with Sberbank’s New York branch.
“We filed appropriately under LDA because we were working for the U.S. subsidiary,” he told TheDCNF via email. Podesta’s firm received $170,000 to lobby on behalf of the Russian bank for six months in 2016.