Feds To Investigate Bernie Sanders’ Wife's Involvement In Alleged Fraudulent Real Estate Deal
The finances behind a real estate deal involving Sen. Bernie Sander’s wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, is under review by federal investigators.
A complaint, originally filed in 2016 by Brady Toensing (an attorney who served as the campaign chair for President Donald Trump in Vermont) alleges Jane Sanders made fraudulent commitments and promises when seeking $10M in a real estate deal to purchase a parcel of land for Burlington College, a now-defunct college she helped establish, the Associated Press reports. Toensing filed a separate claim alleging Bernie Sanders’ office coerced a bank to approve the loan.
Prior to leaving the college in 2011, it is alleged that Jane Sanders promised the college would pay off the loan through a boost in enrollment by 180 to 500 students, in addition to bringing in $2.7M in donations, AP reports. That increase in enrollees and donations did not occur.
When Bernie Sanders, who lost out as the Democratic nominee for president to Hillary Clinton in 2016, was questioned by AP about the investigation during a press conference in Washington Monday, he would not comment on the investigation. Sanders did remark last week on a Burlington television station that similar suits and processes have been initiated by Trump’s team targeting Democrats.
“It would be improper at this time for me to add any more than that,” he said at the television station.
Jeff Weaver, the couple’s spokesperson, said the allegations that sparked the federal probe were politically motivated, though Toensing said the investigation began when President Barack Obama was still in office.
"She was working to take the college to the next level with the land purchase," Weaver said in a statement. "People can Monday morning quarterback it if they want, that's for sure. But what her intent was was to turn Burlington College into a world-class liberal arts college in Burlington for the benefit of the community."