The investigation, first reported by the news website VTDigger.org, is looking into allegations that Jane O'Meara Sanders made fraudulent claims and promises while seeking $10 million in financing for the real estate deal.
The news has been trumpeted as some sort of vindication for Hillary Clinton supporters as well as conservatives, but so far, Sanders himself has said little about the investigation that was originally brought to the FBI's attention by Donald Trump's Vermont campaign chairman Brady Toensing. "When she left it was in better shape than it ever been", Sanders said of the non-defunct institution.
"All that I will tell you now is it's a sad state of affairs in America when not only we have politicians being destroyed", Sanders said.
She wasn't the sole cause of the college's collapse, but she spearheaded a calamitous financial decision - and is alleged to have followed-through on it by providing inaccurate information to a bank, and counting on helpful pressure from her powerful husband.
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But the message he delivered to them before reporters were ushered out of the room was not entirely hopeful. The hospital executives noted there has been a huge drop in the "charity care" that both offer.
The FBI has not confirmed the existence of such an investigation, but copious reporting and Sanders's own remarks suggest they are investigating something.
Sanders, an independent, ran for president as a Democrat past year but was ousted in the primary by Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump in the general election.
"When you go after your wife, people's wives, that is pretty pathetic", Sanders said.
According to Toensing, the investigation was started right away under "President Obama, his Attorney General, and his U.S. Attorney, all of whom are Democrats". "There's an implication, and from at least one individual, an explicit argument that when they called for an investigation into Burlington College that you used your influence to secure a loan from People's United-" The senator cut him off. Sanders is used to fielding softball questions from an adoring local press, but his inquisitor, Kyle Midura of Burlington TV station WCAX, had a rare opportunity to put him on the spot. The two, he said, are close and have played roles in each other's careers. This was back when she was president of Burlington college. The paper said three donors said their pledges were misrepresented in the loan documents; the college closed in 2016 with officials citing its debt from the land purchase.
Politico on Thursday reported Jane Sanders had lawyered up with Washington attorney Larry Robbins.