Jane Sanders, the wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has gone on the attack in the face of accusations that she committed bank fraud when she was the head of a small Vermont college — blasting the accusations as an example of “sexism.”
Mrs. Sanders is under investigation by the FBI for a bank loan she applied for on behalf of Burlington College in 2010 as part of a land deal to expand the college. The FBI probe is said to focus on allegations that she overstated the amount of pledged donations she had to repay the loan. Sen, Sanders has also denied accusations that his office put pressure on bank officials to approve the loan.
Jane Sanders resigned from the position a year later, and the college closed its doors in 2016, in part due to the enormous debt it had accrued from the land deal. But in an interview with the Boston Globe, Sanders went after the man who filed the complaint — Brady Toensing, the vice chairman of the state Republican Party.
“I find it incredibly sexist that basically he’s going after my husband by destroying my reputation, and that’s not OK,” she said.
Toensing, who is also a candidate for Vermont U.S. Attorney, says that he believes there was less scrutiny of the Burlington College loan application because of who was submitting it.
“Ms. Sanders’s privileged status as the wife of a powerful United States Senator seems to have inoculated her from the robust underwriting that would have uncovered the apparent fraudulent donation claims she made,” his complaint said.
But Jane Sanders denies that there were any financial irregularities during her time as Burlington College president.
“If they just looked into public documents, they could see that his allegations of the financial difficulty during my tenure are not true at all,” she told the Globe.
However, Republicans seized on Sanders’ cries of sexism and noted that Hillary Clinton’s team considered attacking Sen. Sanders’ over his wife’s dealings.
“Jane Sanders must think Hillary Clinton’s campaign was sexist for viewing the alleged bank fraud as a major issue, too,” said Michael Ahrens, Rapid Response Director for the RNC, according to Fox News.
The Washington Post reported last week that the FBI probe has ramped up in recent weeks, with agents taking boxes of records from the college and calling a state official to provide evidence to a grand jury.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY