Following the resignation of controversial DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz — over leaked emails that purportedly showed a clear bias against Bernie Sanders — in July 2016, political strategist Donna Brazile stepped in to fill the gap until the election of Tom Perez. Politico has now published an excerpt from Brazile’s upcoming book on this very subject. Brazile details how she vowed to investigate whether or not Hillary Clinton’s people “rigged the nomination process,” which Brazile suspected was the case, but she wanted to dig into the matter to ward off any Russian shenanigans.
In the excerpt, Brazile doesn’t talk much more about those emails, but she trashes Wasserman Schultz’s poor fundraising skills, which she says left the Democratic Party $2 million in debt. Though this may seem unrelated, it has everything to do with what Brazile says she uncovered, which was “proof” of an agreement between the DNC and Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook, who agreed to help provide the DNC with funds to stay afloat.
If all of this is true — that Clinton’s campaign provided for the DNC’s operating expenses each month — the committee obviously had a huge vested interest in her nomination. (Brazile’s motivations in writing this piece do appear fuzzy, however, given that she leaked debate questions to the Clinton campaign.) And things get even shadier when Brazile details exactly how the FEC’s limit on individual campaign donations was reportedly bypassed by the Clinton campaign through the Victory Fund:
Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund — that figure represented $10,000 to each of the thirty-two states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement — $320,000 — and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.
“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”
This excerpt refers to a conversation that Brazile said she held with Gary Gensler, the CFO of the Clinton campaign. Brazile says she unearthed the agreement, which she clearly couldn’t publish within her book, but the document allowed for Hillary to control all DNC strategy and finances as well as major staffing decisions. In other words, Hillary Clinton basically controlled the DNC long before she was formally nominated, which means that Bernie never had a shot, no matter how strong his movement.
As Brazile points out, there was nothing illegal about this agreement between the DNC and Clinton’s campaign, but it was unethical on multiple levels. Brazile describes how she informed Bernie of what she learned, and he “took this stoically.” According to Brazile, Bernie was not outwardly angry but wanted to know if Hillary could beat Trump. Together, Bernie and Brazile apparently worked out a plan for him to encourage his supporters to climb on board with Hillary’s nomination, and the rest, as they say, is history.