Sanders Campaign Touts Op-Ed on Biden’s ‘Corruption Problem’ ahead of Impeachment Trial

Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary campaign debate at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, January 14, 2020.

The Bernie Sanders campaign circulated an op-ed on Monday highlighting “the transactional, grossly corrupt culture” of former vice president Joe Biden’s record, just one day before the Senate begins its impeachment trial over President Trump’s alleged attempts to force Ukraine to investigate Biden.

A “Bern Notice” email sent by the campaign highlights a Guardian op-ed written by Fordham Law professor and Sanders supporter Zephyr Teachout, which warns that “Biden has a big corruption problem and it makes him a weak candidate.”

“It looks like ‘Middle Class’ Joe has perfected the art of taking big contributions, then representing his corporate donors at the cost of middle- and working-class Americans,” Teachout argues. “Converting campaign contributions into legislative favors and policy positions isn’t being ‘moderate’. It is the kind of transactional politics Americans have come to loathe.”

Republicans could call the Bidens as witnesses in the impeachment trial slated to begin Tuesday, with Biden’s campaign releasing a memo Monday to warn media outlets of “spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory” on any alleged conflict of interest in Ukraine.

The Biden campaign said that any reporting suggesting that “Biden engaged in wrongdoing when he executed official United States policy to remove a corrupt prosecutor from office” amounts to “spreading a malicious and conclusively debunked conspiracy theory.”

Sanders has yet to publicly accuse Biden of corruption, while President Trump and allies have repeatedly touted the claim, citing the former vice president’s diplomatic dealings in Ukraine while his son served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.

“I think the Bidens are as corrupt as the day is long,” Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) said last week. “No young man who is the son of a politician gets $50,000 a month who has no experience, working for a Ukrainian oligarch. You know, for goodness sakes — it smells to high heaven. It smells like corruption.”

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