Sanders Institute shutting down amid criticism

Sanders Institute shutting down amid criticism
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The Sanders Institute, a think tank founded by the wife and son of Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Biden, Sanders edge Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchups in Fox News poll O'Rourke tests whether do-it-yourself campaign can work on 2020 stage MORE (I-Vt.), is shutting down, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

The Vermont institute stopped accepting donations and will suspend all operations by the end of May “so there could not even be an appearance of impropriety,” Jane Sanders told AP.

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Critics have said the think tank blurs lines between family, fundraising and campaigns.

The Vermont senator criticized Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Ex-Clinton aide: Dems should make 2020 'about integrity' Trump mounts Rust Belt defense MORE during the 2016 campaign for her family's nonprofit and is reportedly concerned he will be called hypocritical over the institute.

The 2020 Democratic candidate has no role in the institute, which was created after his failed 2016 push.

Speaking to AP, Jane Sanders kept the door open for the institute to begin taking donations again once Bernie Sanders is no longer running for president.

“I think that was the most important thing to do — to not accept donations, because nobody should think that they’re giving money to an organization and that gains them access or favor to anybody else and anybody running for office,” she said in an interview this week. 

“It just seemed the responsible thing to do,” Jane Sanders added.