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Sanders Accuses Clinton of Campaign Finance Violations When He is the One Under Investigation

The day before his imminent loss in the New York Primary, Bernie Sanders paid his campaign lawyer, Brad Deutsch, to send a threatening letter to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) accusing them of conspiring with Hillary Clinton to commit campaign finance fraud.  The letter alleged that the joint DNC-Hillary Victory Fund may have allowed Clinton to dip into large-donor contributions in excess of the $2,700 limit to finance staff salaries, direct mailings, and online advertising.  Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, immediately responded to the allegations in an email to supporters:

Earlier today, the Sanders campaign wrote a letter to the Democratic National Committee, falsely accusing us of violating campaign finance law.  You won’t be surprised by what happened next: 26 minutes after the letter was sent, his campaign sent a fundraising email attempting to capitalize on the phony charges.  Before you read any further, let’s get one thing straight: this accusation is false. They’re questioning our joint fundraising agreement with the DNC, which allows us to support Democrats running up and down the ticket.  This latest incident is part of a troubling pattern of behavior — occurring just as Bernie’s mathematical odds of winning the nomination dwindle toward zero — in which Sanders and his team are not just debating us on issues, but rather attacking Hillary Clinton’s character, integrity, and motivations.

In response to the allegations, the Clinton campaign could have counter-attacked Sanders by pointing out that the very thing he accuses Clinton of, he is guilty of himself.  The Clinton campaign chose to defend Clinton’s record without resorting to negative attacks.  The latest accusation from Sanders is part of his ongoing effort to discredit Clinton as he desperately clings to his Presidential aspirations.  If credible evidence existed to prove the Clinton campaign had violated campaign finance laws, Sanders would have contacted the Federal Election Commission (FEC) instead of the DNC.

Bernie Sanders should know first-hand that the FEC is responsible for investigating campaign finance violations since he has been under FEC investigation for months due to numerous violations that include:  $23 million in unitemized receipts from individuals, accepting prohibited contributions from foreign nationals and unregistered organizations, providing inconsistent totals in reporting, and failure to provide disbursement details.

In the most recent FEC letter to the Sanders Campaign dated 3/30, Sanders is warned of an audit or enforcement action if his campaign does not provide requested details about a $10 million accounting error by the deadline of 5/4 (FEC letters: 2/112/25, 3/30).  Campaign finance reports for the month of April are due on 5/20.  Sanders may face more challenges by the FEC if he illegally used campaign funds to take his family to Italy.

When Bernie Sanders thought he had a chance of becoming the Democratic nominee, he stressed the importance of running a positive, issue-based campaign.  When he realized the losses he would face in states that didn’t look like New Hampshire, the campaign that started as a breath of fresh air quickly deteriorated into one that polluted the airwaves with toxic lies about Hillary Clinton’s record.  The Sanders campaign expended tremendous effort in demonizing Clinton via campaign emails, television ads, and press releases with titles like: “Clinton’s Ties to Wall Street” and “Clinton’s Credibility Gap”.

Sanders accused Clinton of campaign finance violations the day of the New York primary because it was inevitable that he was going to lose the diverse state of New York by a landslide.  He had to find a way to incite supporters to contribute to his campaign before they realized the blush of momentum had faded.  The false allegation may have boosted fundraising for the Sanders’ campaign, but it didn’t prevent Hillary from winning New York.  In her victory speech, Hillary Clinton said, “We’re going to go up against some powerful forces that will do, say, and spend whatever it takes to stop us.  But remember, it’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.”

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One thought on “Sanders Accuses Clinton of Campaign Finance Violations When He is the One Under Investigation

  1. From the man who can’t find his tax reports, and have 639 pages of FEC violations… go away troublemaker. #bankfraud

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