Bernie Sanders warns of 'international oligarchy' after 'Paradise Papers' leak

Bernie Sanders warns of 'international oligarchy' after 'Paradise Papers' leak
© Camille Fine

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: (Mis)interpreting elections Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Rasmussen poll: Nearly three-quarters of Dems want 'fresh face' as nominee in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.) in an interview on Monday said that newly revealed information showing some of the world’s wealthiest individuals maintaining money in offshore accounts illustrates the movement toward an “international oligarchy.”

“The major issue of our time is the rapid movement toward international oligarchy in which a handful of billionaires own and control a significant part of the global economy,” Sanders told the Guardian.

“The Paradise Papers show how these billionaires and multi-national corporations get richer by hiding their wealth and profits and avoid paying their fair share of taxes,” he added

More than 13 million documents, dubbed “the Paradise Papers,” show more than 120 politicians, royal leaders and businesses around the world with connections to offshore tax havens.

Among those implicated in the Paradise Papers is Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOn The Money: US files complaints at WTO | House leaders get deal to boost biz investment | Mnuchin says US will consider Iran sanctions waivers | FCC deals blow to Sinclair-Tribune merger Ex-cyber officials demand to know security measures for 2020 Census It’s time to confirm the US Export-Import Bank Board for our economic security MORE, who was revealed to have maintained shared business interests with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonUS steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer 'Daily Show' trolls Trump over Pruitt's resignation MORE and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn also held leading roles in companies with numerous tax havens in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the Bahamas, the Guardian reported.

A consortium of news organizations, including the Guardian and German newspaper Süddeutsche, first reported on the leaked documents.

Sanders, who spent much of his 2016 presidential campaign speaking out about inequality in wealth distribution, was not the first lawmaker to react to the leaked documents.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called for an investigation into Ross, saying the Commerce secretary misled Congress about his financial dealings with Russia.