How Hillary Clinton seized control of the DNC before receiving the Democratic nomination

Donna Brazile writes: Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music. I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call.

I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.

So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.

Debbie was not a good manager. She hadn’t been very interested in controlling the party—she let Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn do as it desired so she didn’t have to inform the party officers how bad the situation was. How much control Brooklyn had and for how long was still something I had been trying to uncover for the last few weeks.

By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart. [Continue reading…]

The Washington Post reports: Throughout the campaign, the DNC and its then-chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, fiercely denied any suggestion that the party was helping Clinton over other candidates. The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) had criticized Wasserman Schultz for limiting the early primary debate schedule, allowing party money to be used for Clinton fundraising, and briefly cutting off Sanders’s access to the party voter file shortly before the New Hampshire primary after a Sanders staffer inappropriately accessed information.

Some Democrats now say the arrangement is evidence that the concerns were valid. Ray Buckley, the chairman of New Hampshire’s Democratic Party, said that he first learned of the agreement while serving as DNC vice chair in 2016. “The day that Donna discovered this, she called me and I almost passed out,” Buckley said. “We were blatantly misled.”

In response to the report Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said in a CNN interview that she believed the primary contest between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders had been rigged. “This is a real problem,” she said. “We have to hold this party accountable.” [Continue reading…]

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