News & Politics

Bernie Sanders' Strategist Named in New Cache of Mueller Evidence

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

On Wednesday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed a large cache of evidence against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and a former chief strategist for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was all over it.

Tad Devine, Sanders’ chief strategist, appears from exhibit 5 onward. Mueller listed a memo from 2006 involving Manafort, Devine, and former Ukrainian President Viktor Vanukovych, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet in Ukraine.

Mueller’s evidence lists email after email between Devine and Manafort, connecting them both to Konstantin Kilimnik, a Putin-connected operative whom Manafort described as “my Russian brain.”

Devine’s name appears a total of 21 times in the list of nearly 500 pieces of evidence against Manafort.

The last piece of evidence linking Devine to Manafort dated to June 2014, mere months before Bernie Sanders tapped him as chief strategist in November 2014.

Before joining Sanders’ team, Devine served as a senior adviser to Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. He worked on campaigns for president and prime minister in Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as well as 17 winning U.S. Senate races. He worked for Yanukovych’s 2010 presidential campaign. He now leads Devine Mulvey Longabaugh, a media consulting firm in Washington, D.C.

This evidence should cause a tremendous headache for Sanders, who seems to be weighing a 2020 presidential bid. What did Sanders know, and when? Was the socialist candidate aware of his chief strategist’s ties to Russia? Was there collusion — not between Trump’s campaign and Russia — but between Bernie’s campaign and Putin?

That last question goes far beyond the scope of what is warranted, but Devine’s name on Mueller’s list of evidence is earth-shattering.

Sanders has made a name for himself recently by attacking Disney for not paying its workers enough. Meanwhile, a recent poll suggested that Democrats would prefer a “fresh face” in 2020 over someone like Sanders or other former Democrat presidential contenders like Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. 

Sanders’ advocacy of socialism, the lite version of Soviet Communism, and his infamous honeymoon to Russia, suggest that he could be something of an ideological Russian agent, attempting to shake up American politics in a direction towards the very big government that spelled the doom of the Soviet Union in the 1980s. He has taken pride in making “fringe, radical, and extremist ideas” “mainstream.”

Tragically for Sanders — and conveniently for America’s Russian foes — his version of big government leads to embarrassing snafus. It was ironically fitting that Sanders’ video response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address crapped out in January. This illustrated the economic value of Sanders’ preferred economic system.