- REUTERS/Joe Raedle
- In a book excerpt published by Politico on Thursday, former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile accuses the party of tilting the presidential nomination process in Hillary Clinton’s favor. Brazile recalls crying after telling Clinton’s rival, Bernie Sanders, about a fundraising agreement that gave Clinton control over the DNC long before she became the party’s candidate. She said the agreement was not illegal, but “unethical.”
Donna Brazile, the former Democratic National Committee interim chairwoman, accused the DNC of being “unethical” and favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders for the party’s presidential nomination.
Brazile detailed the “proof” she had of such unethical behavior in a book excerpt published by Politico on Thursday.
After Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned as DNC chair in July 2016 following accusations that she was working to rig the Democratic primary in Clinton’s favor, Brazile took control of the party, promising to investigate possible internal corruption.
Brazile went department to department, she wrote, searching for evidence that the DNC was in fact rigging the system to throw the primary to Clinton. She happily reported that she found none. Then she came across an agreement between the DNC and two Clinton campaign funds that suggested unethical practice.
In August 2015, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and DNC CEO Amy Dacey signed an agreement that would allow Clinton to control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, which was still struggling to recover from debts incurred from the Obama 2012 campaign.
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The DNC was also reportedly required to consult with the Clinton campaign about the inner workings of the party, including staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings. This essentially gave Clinton control over the entire Democratic Party long before voters had chosen her as the nominee.
The funding arrangement, while not illegal, “sure looked unethical,” according to Brazile.
“If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead,” Brazile added. “This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.”
Brazile notes that she called Sanders to tell him what she had discovered, and when she hung up, she started “to cry, not out of guilt, but out of anger.”
Sanders would later throw his support behind Clinton during the general election campaign, but the bitterness between the two candidates would remain.