There has been plenty of talk as to whether or not President Trump is under investigation by the FBI, but there is a former presidential candidate who actually is under FBI investigation: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). He and his wife Jane are being investigated over allegations of bank fraud.
Here are some things you need to know about the investigation into Sanders and his wife.
1. This investigation stems from Jane Sanders allegedly over inflating financial commitments to the college in order to obtain a loan.
Sanders’ wife needed the loan to buy land to expand Burlington College, where she was the president from 2004 to 2011. She received a $10 million loan from People’s United Bank after she told them that the college had secured $2.6 million in pledged donations. However, only $676,000 donations came into the college’s coffers from 2010 to 2014. Additionally, documents signed by Sanders’ wife stated that the college had $1.2 million secured in pledged donations, but only $279,000 came in to the college.
2. Bernie Sanders himself is being investigated for allegedly strong-arming the bank into giving his wife the loan.
Politico Magazine brushes aside this allegation by claiming that a source told them that “the alleged ‘pressure’ may have simply been a casual suggestion—perhaps chatter by a Sanders staffer over lunch, instead of a written document or email—and though such a suggestion might still be improper, it would be difficult to prove a direct connection to the senator.” The investigation will likely determine if this is true or not.
3. President Trump’s campaign chair in Vermont requested the FBI to investigate the Sanders.
Sanders himself has been claiming that the investigation has been driven by politics, a claim that Politico buttresses by portraying the attorney who requested the investigation, Brady Toensing, as a conservative political hit-man who is always looking “for cases where he can slip the knife into Democratic politicians.”
Perhaps Toensing had a political incentive to request such an investigation, but Politico does acknowledge that reporters “found discrepancies and overstatements” in the documents Jane Sanders had submitted to obtain the list. Toensing reportedly leaked those documents to reporters, although that does not discount the reporters’ findings.
Toesning pointed out to CBS News in an email that the investigation “was started under President Obama, his Attorney General, and his U.S. Attorney, all of whom are Democrats.”
4. Both Bernie and Jane Sanders are surrounding themselves with a team of high powered lawyers.
Per CBS News:
Burlington attorney and Sanders supporter Rich Cassidy has reportedly been hired to represent Sen. Sanders. And high-profile Washington defense attorney Larry Robbins, who counseled I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, is protecting Jane Sanders.
This lawyering up likely means that the Sanders are taking the investigation seriously and it’s not going away anytime soon.
5. NBC’s Chuck Todd had Sanders on Sunday’s Meet the Press after the news broke that he and his wife had hired lawyers.
The Daily Wire‘s John Nolte excoriated Todd for this, noting that in the seven-minute interview Todd only asked Sanders about his inflammatory statements regarding his Trumpcare “without asking any tough follow-ups.”
“How can a high-profile Senator and presidential candidate under FBI investigation appear on Meet the Press and not be asked even a single question about it?” wrote Nolte. “Democrats (and socialists) sure got it good.”
Indeed, if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his wife were under investigation, it’s hard to believe that Todd wouldn’t have grilled Cruz about it on his show. But that’s to be expected from a man who previously staffed for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and whose wife works for a left-wing consulting firm.