5.4.16

Bernie, Hillary and The Panama Papers

A billionaire and a Russia-controlled bank named in the Panama Papers have links to Hillary Clinton through two separate lobbying efforts — one through a Clinton-connected lobbying firm and another through Sidney Blumenthal.

Clinton is linked to Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, through Podesta Group, a lobbying firm co-founded by Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and his brother, Tony Podesta, a major Clinton bundler.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, which first reported the connection, Sberbank registered with the Podesta Group last month to lobby on issues related to economic sanctions against Russia and on stock and bond trading for its U.S. clients.


Bidzina Ivanishvili, a Georgian billionaire and former prime minister of the Caucasus state, is also named in the Panama Papers, which is believed to be the largest leaks of financial documents in history. A close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ivanishvili appeared in the Hillary Clinton email dump through her longtime friend Sidney Blumenthal.

visit this link Sanders ardently opposed the trade deal that led to Panama Papers abuses; Clinton supported it

Bernie spoke out against tax havens & Panama Free Trade Agreement 5 years ago.

Hillary was on the side of the rich

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders spoke up about the issue on Monday. His campaign posted to Facebook a video of an October 2011 speech in the U.S. Senate, in which Sanders condemned the Panama Free Trade Agreement that was being considered at the time.

visit this link https://youtu.be/Kkr1UU8vV2w

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama both supported the Bush administration-negotiated agreement, which ultimately made tax evasion an even larger problem. Progressive NGOs and watchdogs warned that this would happen at the time, but Clinton and Obama ignored them and strongly pushed for the deal.

Sanders, on the other hand, was one of the few voices to challenge the neoliberal trade deal.

“So I think no one is going to legitimately stand up here and say that trading with such a small country is going to significantly increase American jobs,” he explained.

Why, then, was the U.S. considering a free trade agreement with the country? He asked.

“Well, it turns out,” Sanders continued, “that Panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade U.S. taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens.”

The Panama Free Trade Agreement, the Vermont senator argued, would there “make this bad situation much worse.”

As the release of the Panama Papers has shown, Sanders turned out to be correct.

In his 2011 speech in the Senate, Sanders quoted a study by the progressive advocacy group Citizens for Tax Justice, which had found that Panama is likely “the worst” tax haven.

The free trade agreement Clinton and Obama supported “would effectively bar the United States from cracking down on illegal and abusive offshore tax havens in Panama,” the Vermont senator pointed out.

“In fact, combating tax haven abuse in Panama would be a violation of this free trade agreement, exposing the U.S. to fines from international authorities,” he stressed.

Sanders also emphasized that the U.S. was losing up to $100 billion in taxes every year “as corporations stash their money in” tax havens like Panama, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

“At a time when we have a $14 trillion plus national debt, and at a time when we are frantically figuring out ways to try to lower our deficit, some of us believe that it is a good idea to do away with all of these tax havens by which the wealthy and large corporations stash their money abroad and avoid paying U.S. taxes,” Sanders said.

“The Panama Trade Agreement would make that goal even more difficult,” he added.
Emails released from Clinton’s private email server show that her State Department played an important role in pushing for the agreement.

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