Jane Sanders Mines Clinton Playbook to Dismiss FBI Investigation

Former college president claims federal probe part of sexist plot to discredit her husband

by Edmund Kozak | Updated 17 Jul 2017 at 12:58 PM

Jane Sanders, wife of the Democratic socialist senator from Vermont, is finally speaking out about the FBI investigation into financial fraud she may have committed as president of Burlington College.

Lashing out at Brady Toensing, a Vermont Republican activist and lawyer who is a candidate for U.S. attorney in the state — and who filed the initial complaint that led to the FBI investigation — Sanders implied she was a pawn in a sexist plot to discredit her husband.

“I find it incredibly sexist that basically he’s going after my husband by destroying my reputation, and that’s not OK,” she told The Boston Globe over the weekend. The Globe further explains: “She said Toensing’s campaign against her is sexist because it assumes her husband somehow interceded on her behalf to secure the loan to buy the new campus — an accusation she insists has no merit.”

Toensing dismisses the assumption. While rumors have circulated that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) used his influence to help Burlington College secure the loans, the complaint and investigation always focused on Jane Sanders.

"The only thing more lame than calling the investigation partisan is to call it sexist," said Toensing in an email to LifeZette.

If calling an FBI investigation into criminal wrongdoing "sexist" because the subject of the investigation is a woman sounds familiar, that's because it is a page straight from the Clinton playbook. When a FBI investigation into Clinton's handling of sensitive emails at the State Department was at its height, accusations of sexism on the part of investigators or the Republican Party abounded.

"Why focus exclusively on Hillary Clinton? Insane bias, indefensible & sexist" tweeted National Book Award winner Joyce Carol Oates in October 2016.

"Time to investigate FBI emails. GOP emails. T***p emails," Oates tweeted Monday, ​censoring President Donald Trump's name.

Writing in Time Magazine, University of California, Berkeley, linguistics professor Robin Lakoff said the investigation into Clinton was not just a sexist attack on Clinton, but a misogynistic attack on all women everywhere.

"Emailgate is a b*tch hunt, but the target is not Hillary Clinton. It's us," wrote Lakoff.

"The only reason the whole email flap has legs is because the candidate is female," she ​wrote. "Can you imagine this happening to a man?"

The investigation centers on Sanders' acquisition of funding while she was president of Burlington College. As president of the now defunct school, Sanders secured a $6.7 million loan in order to purchase a pristine 32-acre property on Lake Champlain for the college's new campus.

In order to obtain those loans, she told lenders that the college had commitments for donations totally enough to cover the loan, but the reality was that Burlington barely had any commitments at all — certainly nowhere near enough to repay a $6.7 million loan.

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