“We were told that since the senator no longer is a candidate there was no requirement to file,” Briggs said.
FEC spokesman Christian Hilland verified that Sanders has not filed a personal financial disclosure. He likewise confirmed that Sanders, who technically ceased to be a presidential candidate when Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic nomination on July 26, is no longer required to file one.
A 2011 legal advisory from the United States Office of Government Ethics provides Sanders cover, stating that “the requirement to file a Public Financial Disclosure Report … ends when the candidate is no longer seeking nomination or election to the office of president.”
On the one hand, who now — beside political voyeurs and snoopy journalists, perhaps — would care about the investments and income of an also-ran presidential candidate who hasn’t been a major factor in Election 2016 for more than two months?
But on the other, Sanders expertly exploited a system that effectively allowed him to delay, delay, delay — all while he chided Clinton receipt of six-figure paydays for delivering closed-door speeches to officials at investment bank Goldman Sachs and other powerful special interests. (Both Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump filed their personal financial disclosures on time in mid-May without asking for extensions.)
Therefore, in the teeth of a Democratic primary where Sanders posed a bona fide threat to Clinton, voters couldn’t definitively know whether Sanders — historically one of the Senate’s least wealthy members — suddenly parlayed his political fame into personal profit. Or, for that matter, whether he sustained financial distress.
The form Sanders didn’t file would have detailed his finances through the middle of May 2016.
His most recent U.S. Senate disclosure, which details only his 2015 assets, show his wealth concentrated in a collection of mutual funds owned by his wife, Jane Sanders.
Beyond his Senate salary, Sanders himself draws a small pension from the government of Burlington, Vermont, where he once served as mayor. And he’s also received a handful of modest honoraria for speeches and television show appearances, although he reported donating them to charity.