FBI investigation into Bernie Sanders’ wife could spell trouble for the senator

The FBI investigation into a land deal brokered by Jane Sanders is heating up, the Washington Post reported Monday, an inquiry that could potentially imperil husband Bernie Sanders' political future.

The investigation into Jane Sanders, who served as an adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for both his Senate and presidential bids, centers around a land deal she brokered while serving as president of Burlington College, a small and now-defunct school in Vermont.

Sanders is accused of fabricating the amount of money prospective donors had pledged to help the school secure the purchase of a $10 million plot of land on Lake Champlain. She told the school's board of trustees that donors had promised $2.6 million in donations for the land deal; however, when trustees contacted the donors, they said they never agreed to give the amounts Sanders had listed, the Post reported.

According to the Post, federal investigators collected more than 20 to 30 boxes of the school's business records in April. Six people have been contacted by the FBI or federal prosecutors, and at least one state official has been called to testify before a grand jury in the case.

Bernie Sanders and wife, Jane
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Bernie Sanders and wife, Jane
Former Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders hugs his wife Jane after making a motion to suspend the rules and nominate Hillary Clinton as the Demcoratic presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders gets a kiss from his wife Jane as he addresses supporters following the closing of the polls in the California presidential primary in Santa Monica, California, U.S., June 7, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane wave to the audience during a rally in Vallejo, California, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
PORTSMOUTH, NH - With Jane Sanders, Democratic Presumptive Nominee for President former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a rally with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) at Portsmouth High School Gymnasium in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Jane O'Meara Sanders walks on the floor during the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 27, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. / AFP / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders kisses his wife, Jane O'Meara Sanders, at a rally in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (C) hugs his wife Jane Sanders (L) while actress Susan Sarandon surveys the overflow room at a campaign rally in Fairfield, Iowa January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' wife Jane (R) waves to the crowd as Sanders acknowledges her and his step daughters Carina (L) and Heather (C) as Sanders addresses his final campaign rally before the Iowa Caucus at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa January 31, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Jane Sanders, wife of Vermont Senator and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, listens during an interview following a campaign event in Fort Madison, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. In advance of Monday's Iowa caucuses, the first electoral contest of the presidential primaries, Jane Sanders has ventured out often on her own, sometimes with multiple events the same day. Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, walks with his wife Jane Sanders ahead of the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. With Vice President Joe Biden officially out of the presidential race, the nation's first nominating contest between front-runner Hillary Clinton and Sanders is gaining steam, according to a new Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register Iowa Poll. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 12: With his wife Jane O'Meara, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) prepares to speak at a Florence Town Hall Meeting in an arena in Florence, South Carolina on Saturday September 12, 2015. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Jeff Weaver, who served as campaign manager for Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign, told the Post that Jane Sanders did nothing wrong.

Weaver said the investigation is "right out of the Benghazi playbook" — a reference to the years-long investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which helped uncover her use of a private email server that dogged her presidential run.

Weaver also said the reason Jane Sanders hired a lawyer was strictly for fear that President Donald Trump's Justice Department would target her to try and harm her husband's potential bid in the 2020 presidential race, which the senator has yet to rule out.

"While the Obama administration was in office, I don't think anyone thought that these baseless allegations warranted hiring a lawyer," Weaver said. "But with Trump and [Attorney General] Jeff Sessions at the helm, that's a very different situation."

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