Late last month, Jane Sanders, wife of former Democratic presidential candidate and progressive firebrand Bernie Sanders, was hit with shocking allegations of committing bank fraud. The allegations were particularly jarring given Bernie’s record of sharply criticizing bank fraud and corruption.
But a new report by the Associated Press reveals the charges might be little more than a political attack by Bernie’s Republican enemies.
According to the Associated Press, Republican lawyer and former Donald Trump campaign leader Brady Toensing, who reported Jane Sanders of fraud to federal officials, based his allegations solely on information he received secondhand from Republican State Rep. Don Turner.
From the AP:
Turner told WCAX-TV that friends at the bank described pressure from Sanders’ office, but he says those friends didn’t have direct knowledge of the negotiations. Turner says he told Toensing about it in May 2016, adding that he would not have brought it to the attention of federal investigators.
Toensing formerly served as a representative in Vermont for Trump’s presidential campaign last year. He continues to stand by the allegation, despite having acquired the information indirectly.
For whatever reason, attacking political enemies by launching hit stories on their spouses is a popular line of attack — arguably more so in recent years than ever before. As a presidential candidate, Trump never passed up an opportunity to attack Heidi Cruz, wife of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, based on her appearance or ties to Goldman Sachs.
Trump even went so far as to invite the politically motivated accusers of former President Bill Clinton to his debates with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and constantly attacked Bill for his philandering and history of assault accusations.
Sure, valid criticisms can be made of politicians’ marriages, as we’ve seen with criticisms of Melania Trump living on taxpayer dollars in New York, but for the most part, they’re just like what Bernie Sanders called recent attacks on his wife — “a distraction” from the issues.
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