Sen. Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination violated Federal Election Commission regulations by hiring a foreign national as an adviser, according to a new complaint.
The Coolidge-Reagan Foundation is asking the FEC to investigate Sanders and his campaign for hiring Maria Belen Sisa “to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations.”
The complaint alleges Sanders did the same in his 2016 campaign, allowing Sisa as well as Erika Andioloa and Cesar Vargas to serve as advisers.
Further, Sanders in 2016 knowingly accepted campaign contributions from Sisa, also in violation of regulations.
The Washington Free Beacon, which obtained a copy of the complaint, reported Sisa is an illegal immigrant from Argentina who is in the United States under the protections of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program initiated by the Obama administration.
Sisa was named deputy national press secretary for Bernie 2020.
She recently drew attention when she questioned whether American Jews, including her own boss Sanders, were loyal to the United States, the Free Beacon reported.
“Foreign nationals are prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in the decision-making process of any person with regard to election-related activities, according to the FEC,” the Free Beacon explained. “Included in this group of foreign nationals are all immigrants not lawfully admitted as permanent residents.”
Vargas was the campaign’s national Latino outreach strategist, and Andiola a press secretary for Latino outreach, the report said. They both were on salary for Bernie 2016.
The complaint states: “Due to the high profile of Cesar Vargas, Erika Andiola, and Maria Belén Sisa as leading activists in the undocumented community, there is reason to believe that respondents are ‘foreign nationals’ within the meaning of 52 U.S.C. § 301219b)(2), and in violation of 11 C.F.R. § 110.20 (i) and A.O. 2004-26, directly or indirectly participated in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2016.”
The complaint says there is “reason to believe, having previously employed Ms. Sisa, that Bernie 2020 is currently, and knowingly, permitting a ‘foreign national’ … to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2020.”
Shaun McCutcheon, who filed the complaint for the Coolidge Reagan Foundation, told the Free Beacon he expects any foreign nationals employed by the campaign to lose their job if the FEC finds it was in violation of the law.
“The commission should find reason to believe that Sen. Sanders, Bernie 2016, and Bernie 2020 have violated [federal law] and conduct an immediate investigation.” he said.
“The commission should determine and impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations.”