• Podesta Group, the lobbying firm founded by brothers John and Anthony Podesta that has close ties to the Democratic Party, may be shutting down.
  • The firm has become entangled in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation over work it did for President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
  • Manafort was indicted last month on 12 counts, including money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent.
  • Podesta Group has also come under scrutiny for failing to properly disclose its lobbying activities.

Podesta Group, a well-known lobbying firm with close ties to the Democratic Party and the Obama administration, might close its doors after being caught in the crosshairs of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, CNN reported on Saturday.

Podesta Group — which was founded by brothers John and Anthony Podesta — got roped into the investigation over work it did for Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Kimberley Fritts, the CEO of Podesta Group, told staff on Thursday that the lobbying firm would close its doors by the end of the year, sources told CNN. Fritts also asked employees to clean out their belongings and told them they would not be paid past November 15.

While investigating Manafort's consulting work for the party, Mueller has been scrutinizing Podesta Group and the lobbying group Mercury Public Affairs. Mercury worked with Podesta Group after Manafort asked the firms to do public relations work for the

Yanukovych was ousted in 2014 after widespread demonstrations against his decision to back out of a deal with the EU that would have distanced Ukraine from Russia and strengthened ties with the West. Yanukovych fled to Russia amid the protests, during which Ukrainian riot police opened fire on thousands of demonstrators, and is now living under the protection of the Kremlin.

investigating what role

The group also hadextensive contactswith the State Department and the National Security Council in 2012 in the lead-up to the Ukrainian elections that year.

"They were pretty open about their purpose being to give a positive perspective on the upcoming election," a former State Department employee told CNN.

Michal Kranz contributed reporting.