Heather Podesta
Heather Podesta

Invariant has joined Apple's corps of DC lobbyists, handling issues such as privacy, encryption, copyright, intellectual property and competitive matters.

The firm headed by lobbying powerhouse and Democratic insider Heather Podesta also will school members of Congress about "supply chain protocols."

That's a huge issue for Apple, which counts on its China-based supply chain for its electronics and iPhone offerings. President Trump's tariff war on China threatens Apple's relationships with its Chinese manufacturers.

Podesta, who served on the staffs on Democratic Congressmen Robert Matsui/Earl Pomeroy and Senator Bill Bradley, heads Invariant's five-member Apple team.

That squad includes Anne MacMillan, ex-aide to now Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi; Eric Rosen, legislative director to former Congressman Anthony Weiner; Nicole Venable, staffer to ex-Senator Chuck Robb, and Annie Palisi, aide to former Speaker John Boehner.

Apple spent $6.5M on lobbying during 2018 at shops including Glover Park Group, Franklin Square and Fierce Government Relations. It upped outlays to $1.9M for Q1 2019.

Podesta launched Heather Podesta + Partners in 2007. It rebranded as Invariant ten years later to project a more bipartisan approach to communications.

She is the former wife of Tony Podesta, a former Democratic bigwig. His Podesta Group imploded in 2017 after special counsel Bob Mueller linked it to a Ukrainian client of now-jailed Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign manager.