The wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) reportedly attempted to evict disabled group home residents living on land where she was seeking to expand the Vermont college of which she was president.
This is the latest part of a sordid situation reportedly being investigated by the FBI, and one that threatens any hope of another presidential run for the socialist senator.
Records obtained by Judicial Watch offer more insight into the time when Jane Sanders was president of Burlington College in Vermont, between 2004-11. Sanders’ push to expand the college is reportedly being investigated by the FBI, namely the allegation by Vermont blog VTDigger that she said she had $2.6 million in pledged donations in her loan application when in fact she had only half a million pledged.
Sen. Sanders himself is also reportedly part of the investigation over allegations he put pressure on bank officials over the loan. Sanders denies the accusations and has called the claims “pretty pathetic.”
But Judicial Watch now reports that the parcel of land that Jane Sanders eyed for the college’s expansion included a group home for disabled people. Part of the deal was that she negotiate the transfer of the residents before the college took the property.
However, the watchdog reports that she tried to kick them out of their home instead. The report cites a letter to the group’s attorney in which she says, “It is simply not fair to expect the College to continue to carry the burden of the expenses associated with housing both your population and ours until February 2012.”
Judicial Watch claims that the letter is a sign not only of “Jane’s heartlessness, but also her incompetence as the college president for not ensuring the negotiated transfer of those disabled people before the school took over the property.”
The group was eventually moved out after being served eviction papers by the Catholic Diocese of Burlington. Mrs. Sanders told a Vermont weekly that she was not the bad guy.
“We are not trying to be the bad guys here,” she told Seven Days in 2011. “We have always said that we’d be helpful and we’d try to help them as they found a new home — and we have. At first, we agreed to delay for one semester, and even that was pushing it for us. Six months beyond that is not realistic.”
“We thought a year’s time was appropriate, and it’s worrisome that they haven’t found a place yet, but there is really no choice any longer,” she said.
Sen. Sanders faces re-election in Vermont this year, where he is a comfortable favorite. But the allegations surrounding him and his wife may tarnish his reputation to the point where a 2020 presidential run becomes untenable. The pair has reportedly taken on lawyers as the FBI investigates.
Burlington College, meanwhile, shut down in 2016 citing the “crushing” amount of debt that Mrs. Sanders’ land deal inflicted upon the college.
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Breitbart News based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY