Podesta 36: WikiLeaks published 300 more emails from Clinton's campaign chief

John Podesta © Carlos Barria
Although the US presidential election is over, WikiLeaks is continuing to publish the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, who remains a major player in Washington. This is the 36th batch of emails, released in a constant drip over the past month.

The whistleblowing website has published close to 56,000 emails from Podesta’s private account since October 7, sometimes more than once a day, revealing the internal communications of Clinton’s campaign staff.

Media and big banks

In an email dated February 10, 2014, Washington Post journalist Dan Balz messaged Thomas Nides, Clinton’s former deputy secretary of state, to give him a heads-up regarding a rumored expose on the Clintons being written by the New York Times.

“Confidentially: Rumors around that the NYT is digging into Clinton/Bill Clinton and ready to pop something. Do you know what this is about?” wrote Balz, who has been a political correspondent with the Post since 1978. Nides, who was back at the helm of investment bank Morgan Stanley at the time, forwarded the email to Cheryl Mills, one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides.

Mills in turn forwarded the email to Podesta, who held the position of Counselor to President Obama at the time.

A previously released email showed Nides – who is married to CNN vice president Virginia Moseley – sharing information on a CNN poll with Podesta before it became public.

In another message, he advised Podesta on the matter of Clinton’s email scandal to “get a State Department career lawyer to go through all the emails and pull the official ones.”

Theranos fundraiser

On March 14 this year, Center for American Progress director Neera Tanden emailed Podesta a tweet by liberal blogger Ezra Klein, calling the upcoming Clinton fundraiser with Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes a “bad idea.”

“Great minds think alike,” Podesta replied.

The March 21 fundraiser still happened, but was relocated from its original venue at Theranos headquarters in Silicon Valley to Holmes’ residence.

Although Holmes attracted hundreds of millions in venture capital funding by touting a revolutionary blood-testing technology, Theranos was found to have outsourced their tests or used existing technology instead, and is currently under federal investigation for misleading investors.

‘Keen to execute Sunday plan’

Several of the messages in the WikiLeaks release related to Podesta’s role heading President Barack Obama’s transition team in 2008, revealing the role of big bank executives in putting together the cabinet.

In an email dated November 14, 2008, Michael Froman of Citigroup emailed Podesta with a follow-up on proposed cabinet appointments.

“Keen to execute sunday plan. Put lynn and brennan in deep vet. Still futzing with richardson,” Froman wrote. The phrase “deep vet” is shorthand for background checking a candidate for a sensitive post.

”Got it. No more candidates for CIA and Dep SecDef then?” Podesta responded.

The exchange referred to William Lynn III, a former lobbyist for weapons manufacturer Raytheon who became Deputy Secretary of Defense.

John O. Brennan was nominated to lead the CIA, but withdrew after criticism of his reported support for torture the agency used during the Bush administration. He became Obama’s homeland security adviser instead, and took over the CIA in 2013, replacing General David Petraeus.

The third person referenced is most likely Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico at the time who was nominated to head the Department of Commerce but could not get approval by the Senate.

Froman is now the US trade representative, among those responsible for negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade deals.