Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said Tuesday the FBI investigation into his wife for alleged bank fraud is nothing more than political harassment led by members of the Trump campaign.
According to CBS News, the FBI is investigating whether Jane Sanders distorted donor levels in 2010 to obtain a $10 million dollar loan to expand Burlington College while she was the school’s president.
The school closed in 2016 and cited the debt incurred by the loan as a factor in its closure.
A complaint filed Jan. 10, 2016, alleged Jane Sanders had falsified and inflated nearly $2 million in pledged donations she said would be used to repay the loan. The complaint said she had “successfully and intentionally engaged in a fraudulent scheme to actively conceal and misrepresent material facts from a federal financial institution.”
According to Politico, Bernie Sanders may also be implicated in the investigation. The complaint alleged his office inappropriately pressured People’s United Bank to approve his wife’s requested loan.
According to Sanders’ top advisor, Jeff Weaver, the couple has hired multiple lawyers to defend them in the FBI’s ongoing probe into the matter.
Sanders refused to confirm whether he and his wife have sought legal help and denounced the allegations as politically motivated when asked to comment Tuesday night by CNN’s Erin Burnett.
“My wife is about the most honest person I know,” Sanders said. “When she came to that college, it was failing financially and academically. When she left, it was in better shape than it had ever been.”
Sanders said it was no coincidence his wife was accused of bank fraud around the same time his presidential campaign started picking up steam.
“Five years later, just at the moment — coincidentally, no doubt — when I’m a candidate for president of the United States, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, the vice chairman of the Republican party in Vermont, launched this investigation.”
Sanders was referring to Brady Toensing, Trump’s campaign chair for Vermont, who first filed the request for an investigation in January 2016.
“All I will tell you now, Erin, is that it is a sad state of affairs in America … when we have politicians being destroyed publicly — when there are attacks against elected officials — when you go after people’s wives, that is pathetic,” Sanders said.
“That’s where we are right now,” he concluded. “That’s all I’m going to say.”
However, Toensing said his complaint has nothing to do with politics, noting that Democrats were in power when authorities began looking into his allegations.
“I filed a request for an investigation in January 2016 and an investigation appears to have been started right away,” Toensing told CBS News. “It was started under President Obama, his Attorney General, and his U.S. Attorney, all of whom are Democrats.”
“My only hope is for a fair, impartial, and thorough investigation,” Toensing said.
Source: Western Journalism