First American connection to Panama Papers involves associates of Hillary campaign

Questions are being asked about why Americans don’t seem very prominent among those exposed in the massive Panama Papers leak.  And dark suspicions exist that the leaker is Soros-funded and has deliberately shielded certain parties, in an effort aimed at discrediting Russia in particular.  As “Tyler Durden” of Zerohedge noted:

... in an interview conducted between Wired magazine and the director of the organization that released the Panama Papers, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, or ICIJ, Gerard Ryle…said:

Ryle says that the media organizations have no plans to release the full dataset, WikiLeaks-style, which he argues would expose the sensitive information of innocent private individuals along with the public figures on which the group’s reporting has focused. “We’re not WikiLeaks. We’re trying to show that journalism can be done responsibly,” Ryle says. He says he advised the reporters from all the participating media outlets to “go crazy, but tell us what’s in the public interest for your country.”

Question aside about who it is that gets to decide which "innocent private individuals" are to be left alone[.]

And in another dispatch, Durden notes that Wikileaks is criticizing the failure to release all the data.

But the first prominent American name to be associated with the leak belongs to someone close to the Clinton political machine.  Lachlan Markay of the Free Beacon reports:

A firm with ties to senior members of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign registered to lobby on behalf of a major Russian bank just weeks before a massive leak exposed the bank’s role in a web of secret financial dealings that have enriched members of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. (snip)

Among those companies is the Russian Sberbank, whose U.S. investment banking branch recently enlisted the services of the Podesta Group. According to its lobbying registration form, the firm will work on banking, trade, and foreign relations issues.

One of the three lobbyists working on the account is Tony Podesta, a bundler for the Clinton campaign and the brother of campaign chairman John Podesta, who co-founded the firm.

Politico reported last month that Podesta and two of the firm’s other lobbyists would be working to affect “the scope of U.S. sanctions against Russia for its role in the Ukraine conflict and whether relief is possible.”

In addition to the company’s Russian parent, the lobbying registration form lists three other directly-affiliated foreign entities: Cayman Islands-based Troika Dialog Group Limited, Cyprus-based SBGB Cyprus Limited, and Luxembourg-based SB International.

According to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, a consortium of journalists exploring the Panama Papers leak, Sberbank and Troika Dialog have ties to companies used by members of Putin’s inner circle to funnel state resources into lucrative private investments.

“Some of these companies were initially connected to the Troika Dialog investment fund, which was controlled and run by Sberbank after the bank bought the Troika Dialog investment bank. Troika and Sberbank declined to comment,” the project reported on Monday.

The Mossack Fonseca documents show that Troika Dialog secretly signed away much of its interest in a Russian truck manufacturer to “an unknown offshore” called Avto Holdings. That company was partially owned by Sergei Roldugin, a close Putin friend and the godfather of the Russian president’s daughter.

Now in fairness, being a lobbyist does not necessarily implicate someone in possible crimes of the client.  But it does implicate one in influence-peddling.

Don’t you wonder about who might be being protected by the Soros-funded group that is stage managing the leaks?  I certainly do.  When I think of difficult-to-trace massive offshore investments, the first name that comes to mind is George Soros, the very definition of lack of transparency.

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