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Huawei hiring former Democratic super lobbyist Tony Podesta


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The longtime K St. fixture is back in business after a Mueller-induced hiatus.



Huawei is hiring Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta as a consultant, according to two people familiar with the matter. Podesta will aim to help the controversial Chinese telecom giant warm relations with the Biden administration.

Podesta will work to advance a variety of the company’s goals in Washington, according to one of the people. He declined to comment. A spokesperson for Huawei also declined to comment.


In addition to Podesta, Huawei recently hired several other representatives: the consulting firm of Lee Terry, a former Republican congressman from Nebraska; lawyer Stephen Binhak; Glenn LeMunyon, who was an aide to former House GOP Whip Tom DeLay; and the consulting firm J.S. Held. The company also retains white-shoe law firm Steptoe and Johnson, paying them $60,000 in the second quarter, according to a disclosure. And the firm has connections to power brokers throughout the nation’s capital. Christopher Fonzone, the general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, advised the company when he was a lawyer at the firm Sidley Austin. Fonzone told senators he did fewer than 10 hours of work for Huawei. The connection created challenges for his Senate confirmation, but he was still confirmed.

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