Bernie and Jane Sanders Lawyer Up as FBI Probes Financial Fraud at Burlington College
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his wife Jane Sanders have hired lawyers to navigate the FBI’s investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing while Jane was president of Burlington College.
The FBI is investigating Jane Sanders for potentially committing fraud when she applied for loans for Burlington College between 2004 and 2011.
Sanders took out a $10 million loan from People’s United Bank in 2010 to purchase 33 acres of land to be added to the college’s holdings. But in applying for the loan, the FBI is investigating as to whether or not Sanders misrepresented the school’s donor levels to make the college seem like it had more income than it actually did, VTDigger.org reported.
Sanders told the bank that Burlington College had an expected income $2.6 million in donations for fiscal year 2010, but in fact, the college only raised $676,000 between 2010 and 2014, a sum so small it put the school in bankruptcy by 2016, The Hill reported.
After Jane Sanders’ tenure as president, Burlington College went bankrupt and permanently closed its doors in 2016.
According to the feds, they are also investigating the possibility that Sen. Sanders himself intervened with the bank to get the loan approved.
Now that the investigation has been made public, both Sanders have obtained lawyers and will no longer cooperate with federal authorities.
The Sanders hired two lawyers. “Rich Cassidy, a well-connected Burlington attorney and Sanders devotee, and Larry Robbins, the renowned Washington-based defense attorney who has represented I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby and disgraced former Rep. Bill Jefferson,” according to Politico.
Even as the investigation was started a year ago under President Barack Obama, Sanders is lambasting the FBI’s investigation as a “Trump” attack on him.
“This implication came from Donald Trump’s Vermont campaign manager,” Sanders said. “It’s from Donald Trump’s campaign manager in Vermont,” he said in May. “Let me leave it at that because at this point it would be improper for me to say any more.”