After refusing to discuss the FBI investigation into whether his wife submitted a fraudulent loan application during her time as president of the now-defunct Burlington College, Sen. Bernie Sanders has chosen to say a few choice words on the matter during an interview with noted fake news purveyor CNN.
When CNN’s Erin Burnett repeatedly pressed Sanders to confirm the probe, the Senator demurred, but then decided he’d like to say a few words about the investigation. Echoing remarks made to a local reporter in May – before the existence of a federal investigation was known to the public – Senators launched into a diatribe about how the investigation is nothing more than a political attack perpetrated by Republicans.
“My wife is about the most honest person I know. When she came to that college it was failing financially and academically when she left it, it was in the best shape it’d ever been. Five years later, coincidentally no doubt, when I am a candidate for president of United States Donald Trump’s campaign manager – vice chairman of the Republican party of Vermont – launched this investigation.
"It is a sad state of affairs in America. Not only do we have politicians being destroyed – when there are attacks against elected officials – but when they go after your wife? That’s pretty pathetic. And that's where we are right now, and that’s all I’m going to say."
“When people are involved in public life, it’s not only that they get attacked, but their wives and families get attacked as well.”
When repeatedly asked if he could confirm if his wife is under investigation, Sanders demurred.
“That’s all I’m going to say.”
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Of course, the notion that Jane Sanders left Burlington in “the best shape it’d ever been in” is ridiculous: The school of course closed last year after more than 45 years of operation thanks to the crushing debt burden accumulated during Sanders’ reign.
And what about the allegations that Sanders’ office improperly leaned on People’s United Bank to grant the $10 million loan? Those allegations were conveniently glossed over.
As we reported over the weekend, Sanders and his wife Jane have hired lawyers to defend themselves amid an FBI investigation into a loan obtained to expand Burlington College while she was its president. Burlington College, a small Vermont private school once led by the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, closed last year, citing "the crushing weight" of debt incurred during the presidency of Jane Sanders who was in charge of the college until 2011.
The college, which enrolled 224 students as of fall 2014, said it faced financial troubles connected to its 2010 purchase of 32 acres of lakefront property from the Archdiocese of Burlington. The college said it had sold property to reduce its debt to a manageable level, but it was placed on probation in 2014 by its accrediting agency and it faced cash flow problems due to the imminent loss of a line of credit.
The reason for the small liberal school's terminal financial trouble is that to fund the property purchase from the Catholic diocese, Sanders took out $10 million in loans. As HeatStreet reported last year, the college almost immediately fell short on its financial obligations as fundraising pledges and commitments Ms. Sanders cited in the loan agreements never materialized. Less than a year after leading Burlington College into massive debt, Ms. Sanders resigned, taking with her a $200,000 severance package. By 2014, because of its shaky finances and running deficits, Burlington College found itself placed on probation for two years by the regional accreditation agency.
Jane Sanders was president of the college from 2004 to 2011. Her husband, Bernie Sanders, a former mayor of Burlington, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 2007 and since then has represented Vermont in the U.S. Senate.
A Sanders ally said the couple has sought legal protection over federal agents' allegations from a January 2016 complaint accusing then-President of Burlington College, Ms. Sanders, of distorting donor levels in a 2010 loan application for $10 million from People's United Bank to purchase 33 acres of land for the institution.
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Poor Bernie. He dedicates his entire life advocating on behalf of America’s disenfranchised, and how does this country repay him? By electing him mayor, Congressman, Senator…the essential unfairness of the situation is staggering.
And who knows? Maybe if it weren’t for blatant collusion between the Clinton campaign and the DNC, Bernie would’ve won the Democratic nomination, and maybe he’d be sitting in the Oval Office right now instead of Trump.
We wonder how media outlets like CNN – not to mention special counsel Robert Mueller and the Congressional investigators – would’ve treated the investigation then?