Source of Sanders report hearsay

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A Republican lawyer who reported Democratic U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife to federal officials was passing on information he heard from a GOP lawmaker who said he didn’t have direct knowledge of the allegations.

The lawyer, Brady Toensing, sent letters to the U.S. attorney for Vermont and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. alleging that Sen. Sanders pressured a bank to approve a loan to a now-closed college run by Sanders’ wife.

The source of that information was Republican State Rep. Don Turner, the minority leader of the Vermont House.

Turner told WCAX-TV that friends at the bank described pressure from Sanders’ office, but he says those friends didn’t have direct knowledge of the negotiations. Turner says he told Toensing about it in May 2016, adding that he would not have brought it to the attention of federal investigators.

Toensing, an attorney who served as Donald Trump’s Vermont representative during last year’s presidential campaign, said Monday he was standing by the allegation.

“This was not a country store, cracker-barrel rant,” Toensing said. He noted that hearsay is used by investigators to develop direct evidence.