Warren and AOC team up to target US treasury secretary over Sears bankruptcy case

The two have questions about his role in the retail giant's bankruptcy

Lily Puckett
New York
Thursday 23 May 2019 17:55 BST

Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have called on US Treasury Steven Mnuchin to disclose more information about his role in the demise of Sears, the department store chain for which he served as a board member prior to its bankruptcy.

In a letter to Mnuchin, Senator Warren and Representative Ocasio-Cortez said they were "deeply concerned by the financial engineering and potentially illegal activity" that took place at Sears while he was a board member, which lead to thousands of employees losing their jobs.

The duo announced the letter in a video shared on Twitter in which Senator Warren shared a story about her mother getting a full-time job answering phones at Sears after her father suffered a heart attack, impending his ability to work.

“Today, it’s a very different Sears,” Senator Warren said.

This different version of the retail giant began in the early 2000s, when Mr Mnuchin joined the company’s board at the request of his friend and college roommate, then-CEO Edward Lambert, who Representative Ocasio-Cortez says “drove the company into the ground,” citing, among other things, a loss of a quarter million jobs under Mr Lambert’s leadership.

Last month, Sears named Mr Mnuchin in a lawsuit against Mr Lambert alleging board members helped the former CEO strip more than $2b from the company.

Senator Warren and Representative Ocasio-Cortez are asking Mr Mnuchin in he was involved in any discussions surrounding Sears’s pension plan.

"He is a walking example of what happens when rich and powerful people put other rich and powerful people into power," Representative Ocasio-Cortez says of Mr Mnuchin in the video.

Her video with Senator Warren marks the second Democrat hoping to be the presidential nominee that Representative Ocasio-Cortez has worked with lately. Earlier this month, the Bronx native teamed up with Bernie Sanders to back a bill that would cap credit card interest rates.'

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