While the mainstream media continues to obsess over Russian collusion and anti-Trump stories, the news that former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' wife is facing bank fraud charges has simmered for almost a year. According to authorities, Jane Sanders used her political influence to obtain bank loans to benefit Burlington College and to purchase that school's former North Avenue campus, which no longer exists.

Jane Sanders' loan(s) in question

Thursday, Jane reportedly hired high-profile lawyers; meanwhile, the ongoing year-long investigation by the Department of Justice includes probes into her past financial dealings.

The private, nonprofit liberal arts college was put on probation in 2014 for maintaining unacceptable standards and authorities shut down the institution in May of 2016. Beyond the financial dealings in question, Jane Sanders was president of the college from 2004 to 2011.

The Sanders hire high-profile attorney

The Sanders have employed prominent Bernie supporter Rich Cassidy and famed defense attorney Larry Robbins to defend Jane against potential charges. Robbins is no stranger to big-league investigations of political icons, having represented I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, consultant to former Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Louisiana Rep. William Jefferson, a Democrat.

For his part, Bernie Sanders has referred to the investigation as “nonsense” and blames the entire matter on the Trump administration, saying it has gone after a number of Vermont Democrats.

However, Brady Toensing, Trump's former Vermont campaign chair, says the investigation started under the administration of former Pres. Barack Obama.

FBI has conducted multiple interviews

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents interviewed former Burlington College dean of operations Coralee Holm over the last year; it is unclear how many times.

The investigation of Sanders, the wife of a top Democrat and former presidential candidate, comes at a bad time for the Democratic Party as it reels from an 0-4 shutout of post-Trump special elections. Analysts say it may be hard for Bernie Sanders to deflect political criticism after promoting anti-Trump Russian collusion stories while condemning the investigations of Democrats, and it may also be difficult for him to attract fundraisers in the event that he decides to run again in 2020.

The FBI investigation of the school and Sanders came to light in April 2017 when it was reported that the FBI had concluded a review of Burlington’s records as part of an ongoing investigation. It is not clear why the probe was kept under wraps during Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential election campaign.