A few days ago, news broke that Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife had “lawyered up” as the FBI investigates whether Jane Sanders committed fraud when acquiring a loan for now-closed Burlington College in Vermont, which she led from 2004 to 2011.
The independent Senator from Vermont blamed who else but fellow real estate mogul Donald Trump for his wife’s alleged indiscretions. According to Sanders, the investigation began in January 2016, when attorney and Vermont GOP vice chair Brady Toensing urged the FBI to probe whether Jane Sanders had committed bank fraud to acquire a new campus for the college.
“This was a story that just, amazingly enough, came out in the middle of my presidential campaign, initiated by Donald Trump’s campaign manager in Vermont,” Sanders said in an interview, between rallies in Pennsylvania and Ohio organized to defeat Senate Republicans’ health-care bill. “That’s about it. I don’t think it’ll be a distraction”, Sanders said, according to The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, Mr. Sanders appeared on CNN and, when pressed by Erin Burnett on whether he was aware that his wife was under FBI investigation, a defensive Bernie Sanders again blamed the Trump campaign.
“Just at the moment, coincidentally no doubt, when I’m a candidate for President of the United States, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, a vice-chair of the Republican party in Vermont, launched this investigation”, he said.
Mr. Sanders said he believes that it is a sad state of politics when family members of those in elected office become targets.
“When you go after people’s wives, that is pretty pathetic. And that’s where we are right now, and that’s all I’m gonna say.”
Sanders had not given a statement prior to his CNN interview on Tuesday.
On Monday, Sanders ignored questions about the FBI investigation into his wife from Fox News opting instead to give an answer about health care to a reporter who caught up with him outside the Capitol.
“No, that’s not what I’m talking about today,” Sanders told the reporter.
Corruption among politicians and their family members is nothing new in politics. But given Sanders’ position as a self-avowed socialist, leader of his party’s progressive wing, and man whose spends most of his time chastising the rich (despite owning three homes), the outcome of this investigation could be devastating to the Sanders brand.
Defending wife, Sanders told Burnett that, “my wife is about the most honest person I know”.
[watch above via CNN]
[image via screengrab]
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