In a shocking account published Thursday, former interim chairperson of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Donna Brazile revealed how the Hillary Clinton campaign systematically took over the DNC.
As early as September 2015, the FBI contacted the DNC to inform them that one of their computers had been compromised by Russian hackers. The extent of the hacking was revealed when WikiLeaks dumped nearly 20,000 emails which suggested that the leadership of the DNC openly tried to sabotage Bernie Sanders’ campaign in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Brazile, the first Black woman to direct a major presidential campaign, took the helm of the DNC after former chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in July 2016. Donna Brazile explained how she had to make a difficult phone call to Bernie Sanders to explain if and why Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the Democratic nomination process as revealed in the emails.
“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.”
Brazile used the piece as an opportunity to trash Debbie Wasserman Schultz as a bad manager and terrible fundraiser who was not interested in her position and let the Clinton campaign take full reign over the DNC.
In the account, Brazile explained how President Obama had left the party $24 million in debt after the 2012 campaign and that the party was not scheduled to be paid off until 2016. Hillary Clinton’s campaign (Hillary for America) and the campaign’s joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC, Hillary Victory Fund agreed to take care of 80 percent of the remaining debt ($10 million) and placed the DNC on an allowance. Brazile claimed to have no knowledge of this information.
“When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.
The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings. “
Brazile said she was frank with Sanders about her findings and urged him throw his support behind Hillary Clinton. On the call, Sanders agreed and Brazile claimed to have cried in anger.
Donna Brazile’s reputation was also ruined as a result of the hacked emails released by WikiLeaks. The hack revealed Brazile shared with the Clinton campaign a question that would be posed to then candidate Hillary Clinton before a CNN Democratic debate.
Following the leak, Donna Brazile resigned as a CNN contributor and the news organization vehemently denied proving Brazile with access to any questions. In a March 2017 essay, Brazile admitted to forwarding the debate questions. Her book Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House is set to be released on November 7, 2017.