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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) SandersHarris presses young people to vote early in Iowa trip Dems lower expectations for 'blue wave' Election Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor's debate | DNC chief pushes back on 'blue wave' talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout 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

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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 RossSupreme Court blocks ruling that mandated Ross deposition on census citizenship question NAFTA 2.0's 'poison pill' is a needed dose of trade medicine Census citizenship question will help voting rights enforcement MORE, who was revealed to have maintained shared business interests with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonWatchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US Trump administration rigging the game, and your retirement fund could be the loser Haley’s exit sends shockwaves through Washington 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.