On Tuesday, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) appeared to have gotten quite agitated following a question by CNN’s Erin Burnett, regarding the FBI’s investigation of his wife’s role in possible fraud in a land deal that failed, when she was president of Burlington College.
“We understand your wife has hired a lawyer to represent her in a possible probe into a land deal that fell apart,” Burnett said. “This was back when she was president of Burlington College—”
“No, it was not when she was, oh,” Sanders interrupted, “let me say a word about that, you know.”
“I just want to ask you,” Burnett continued, “do you know if she’s under FBI investigation?”
“Excuse me,” Sanders interjected, “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 better shape than it had ever been.”
“Five years later, just at the moment, coincidentally no doubt, when I’m a candidate for president of the United States, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, a co-chair, vice chairman of the Republican Party in Vermont launched this investigation,” he continued.
“So all that I will tell you now, Erin, it is a sad state of affairs in America,” Sanders added, “not only when we have you know politicians being destroyed … when there are attacks against elected officials, when you’re going after your wife, people’s wives, that is pretty pathetic, and that’s where we are right now, and that’s about all that I’m going to say.”
“I do just want to understand though,” Burnett pressed, “at this time, do you have any knowledge as to whether she’s under FBI investigation?”
“That’s all that I want to say, and we’ll let it play out,” he responded. “But I think it’s fairly pathetic that when, you know, people are involved in public life, it’s not only that they get attacked, but it’s their wives and their families that they get attacked. That’s what this is about.”
The FBI is looking into a $10 million loan that Jane Sanders took to buy 33 acres of land for Burlington College. Investigating authorities believe Sanders likely overstated the financial position of the college to secure the loan. Hence, when the donations she had promised weren’t fulfilled, the institution defaulted.
Investigators are also looking into the possibility that Senator Bernie Sanders may have used his position in the government to influence the loan in any way.