Jane Sanders, the wife of former Democrat-socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, has found herself under FBI investigation for a scandal relating to her leadership at Vermont’s Burlington College, where she served as president from 2004-2011. The small liberal arts college went bankrupt in May of 2016, and while she was no longer the school’s president, all eyes were on her.
After all, it was Jane Sanders who took on a massive amount of debt in a fruitless effort to expand the school in the years leading up to her departure. It was ironic, considering the policies of her husband would do the same, albeit at the national level.
While it’s no crime to take on debt, part of the FBI probe’s goal is to determine if Sanders provided her creditors with faulty information (such as over-estimating the amount of donations the college was expected to receive) when applying for the loans in question. There are also concerns that because of her husband’s status, her loan didn’t go through the rigorous underwriting process that it normally would have.
While Bernie has been hesitant to speak about the investigation publicly, Jane thinks she knows what’s to really blame for the situation in which she’s found herself. “I find it incredibly sexist that basically he’s going after my husband by destroying my reputation, and that’s not OK,” Jane Sanders told the Boston Globe.
The “he” she’s referring to is Brady Toensing, a Vermont candidate for U.S. state attorney, a position from which he would oversee the ongoing investigation into Jane Sanders. Toensing has been pushing for an investigation into Jane since before Bernie was even running for president.
According to the Boston Globe, to hear Toensing tell it, however, he’s looking for justice. “My goal is for a full, fair, and impartial investigation — that’s all I care about,” he said in a brief interview last week. “That people be treated the same regardless of status in this system.”
Toensing, 49, is an attorney and vice chairman of the state Republican Party. If not for Trump, he might be nothing more than a local thorn in the family’s side. But in 2016, Toensing became leader of the Trump campaign in Vermont, a role that has propelled him into contention to become the state’s chief federal prosecutor.
Toensing has made a career of attacking Vermont’s Democratic and Progressive politicians. His targets include the former governor and attorney general. His highest-profile target by far has been the Sanders family. That activism makes him an anomaly in Vermont, a relentless partisan operative in a state so bipartisan that some state legislators register in more than one party.
How well do you think the “sexism” defense would hold up in court? For Sanders’ own sake, hopefully she has a better excuse than that for the FBI.