Longtime Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta joins Huawei as the struggling Chinese telecommunications company ramps up efforts under the Biden administration.
Podesta, who previously ran one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying firms, is returning to politics after a long hiatus. His Podesta group was disbanded in 2017 under the scrutiny of the then special advocate. Robert muellerRobert (Bob) Mueller Senate Democrats urge Garland not to challenge court order to release Trump’s obstruction note Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as special counsel for AG Barr investigating the origins of the Russia survey PLUS on the company’s work with Trump’s former campaign adviser Paul ManafortPaul John Manafort Former bank CEO convicted of bribery in scheme to land Trump trustee position Trial begins for Chicago banker who traded loans with Manafort for a job at Trump Legal intrigue swirls over ex-Trump manager Weisselberg: five key points.
The Justice Department ultimately dropped its investigation into Podesta’s business. With Democrats resuming power and lifting of legal woes, Podesta considers lobbying return, The New York Times reported earlier this month.
Huawei has hired Podesta as a consultant, according to a source familiar with the matter. Politics first reported the news of Podesta’s hiring on Friday.
Huawei strengthens its lobbying team as the Biden administration reviews Trump’s White House policies regarding China. The company’s sales outside of China have plummeted following a series of restrictions imposed by the Trump administration and further tightened by President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense: Senate panel adds B to Biden’s defense budget | House Passes Bill to Streamline Visa Process for Afghans Who Helped the United States | Pentagon confirms that 7 Colombians arrested in murder of leader in Haiti had received US money training: Senate prepares for debt ceiling fight | Democrats call for changes to bipartisan agreement | House prices hit new high in June Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill to hold platforms accountable for disinformation during health crises | Website crashes hit Olympics, Amazon and big banks MORE.
The Shenzhen-based company hired several new lobbying firms led by former government officials in recent months. Telecommunications spent nearly $ 1.1 million on lobbying in the second quarter of 2021, compared to just $ 170,000 in the same period last year, according to the documents.
Huawei wants Biden to overturn a 2019 Trump administration order that prevents him from doing business with US companies, including key partners such as Google, Qualcomm and Intel. Telecoms are also pushing for the release of its executive Meng Wanzhou, detained in Canada for having circumvented US sanctions.
The United States has accused Huawei of using its technology to spy on American entities on behalf of Beijing, an allegation it denies.
While Huawei hoped Trump’s electoral defeat would bring relief, Biden imposed further restrictions on Chinese society. Last month, Biden signed an executive order banning U.S. investments in Huawei and other companies that would have helped the Chinese government crack down on the Uyghur ethnic minority and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.
Huawei and Podesta did not immediately respond to requests for comment.