Jane Sanders, wife of leftist darling Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and former head of the now-defunct liberal arts school Burlington College, has blasted a bank fraud probe against her as a political attack fueled by sexism.
She accuses Brady Toensing, a Vermont U.S. attorney candidate and vice chair of the state’s Republican party who served as Trump’s campaign leader in the state, for having a vendetta against her husband that he is settling by going after her.
“I find it incredibly sexist that basically he’s going after my husband by destroying my reputation, and that’s not OK,” Sanders told the Boston Globe.
Toensing had a very different justification for pushing the investigation: “My goal is for a full, fair, and impartial investigation – that’s all I care about,” he said. “That people be treated the same regardless of their status in this system.”
According to Toensing, Sanders knowingly mislead a bank into giving her a loan in 2010 to purchase a large tract of land meant to expand the Burlington campus. She allegedly inflated the amount of donations that had been pledged to the school, which closed in 2016 after drowning in debt. Sanders stepped down as president in 2011, shortly after the land deal went through.
“Ms. Sanders’s privileged status as the wife of a powerful United States Senator seems to have inoculated her from the robust underwriting that would have uncovered the apparent fraudulent donation claims she made,” he wrote in his complaint.
Meanwhile, Sanders maintains that proof of her innocence can be found in easily-obtainable public documents and that the “allegations of the financial difficulty during my tenure are not true at all,” decrying Toensing as sexist because it assumes that her husband swooped in to ensure the loan went through.
“The bank knew from all the indicators of a college, the Department of Education, the accreditors, the audits, and their firsthand knowledge as our bank, that we were in the best shape the college had ever been in,” she said.