Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is under fire from Republicans for the ongoing FBI investigation into bank fraud allegations made against his wife.
As president of Burlington College, Jane Sanders signed a loan application in 2010 to People's United Bank requesting $10 million to purchase 33 acres of land for the school.
In the application, Sanders stated the school would bring in millions of dollars in pledged donations. Vermont blog VTDigger suggested that Sanders misrepresented the amount of donations the college received from a land deal.
Burlington College closed down in 2016, citing in a press release its $11 million debt from the expansion pushed by Sanders as the reason why, according to CBS News.
Now the GOP is using the scandal to attack Sen. Sanders, who remains a popular figure among liberals despite his failed presidential campaign.
"For Sen. Sanders, this is not what voters have in mind when they think of him. Those are the narratives, the ones that are totally counter to what people think of you, that are most damaging," Colin Reed, executive director of super PAC America Rising, told The Hill.
"This goes at his perceived strength, and in politics on either side of the aisle, perception is reality."
Republican National Committee rapid response director Michael Ahrens told The Hill: "We have a pretty serious investigation, serious allegations and ... he's been on a honeymoon of coverage from this. No one asks them about this."
Sanders denied the accusations against his wife during a recent CNN appearance.
"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," he said.
"It is a sad state of affairs in America not only when we have politicians being destroyed, when there are attacks against public officials. When you go after people's wives, that's pretty pathetic."
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