BERNIE SANDERS AND WIFE BOTH UNDER FBI INVESTIGATION
According to Politico, Bernie and his wife Jane Sanders have lawyered up amid an 18-month probe into whether Mrs. Sanders committed bank fraud while serving as President of Burlington College to help the school obtain a $10 million loan to help expand the school, and whether Senator Sanders’ office helped pressure People’s United Bank to approve the loan.
This story has been simmering for a while. In January 2016 as Senator Sanders was campaigning for the Iowa Caucuses, the FDIC Acting Inspector General sent a 4 page letter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont to request an investigation into bank fraud. The letter alleges that Mrs. Sanders falsified the college’s financial information and inflated the amount of donations that had been promised to the school to help repay the loan.
A second letter was then sent to federal investigators alleging that Senator Sanders’ office had pressured the United People’s Bank to approve the loan.
Senator Sanders has most ignored the story and refused to address it publicly. After the first letter had been issued in early 2016, a Vermont reporter asked the Senator about it to which he replied that the story had been planted by then Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski (Fake news if you will).
Drowned out by the spotlight of the presidential campaign, the investigation proceeded in the background. As Politico reports:
Beyond the glare, federal investigators and FBI agents started to pull apart the $10 million financial arrangement. They showed up at Burlington College to sift through hard drives, audit reports and spreadsheets. They began to interview donors, board members and past president Carol Moore. “I was contacted and spoke with an FBI agent numerous times last spring, again last summer,” Moore told Vermont Public Radio in May 2017, “and recently, maybe a month ago.”
As the FBI’s investigation wraps up, the decision whether or not to prosecute Mr. and Mrs. Sanders will be made by Vermont’s U.S. Attorney, a position that has not yet been filled by the Trump Administration. The underlying investigation into a former (and possibly) future political rival will add some drama to what otherwise would be a mundane confirmation process.