By Aaron Blake
July 24, 2016 at 6:35 PM
Thousands of leaked emails have sealed the fate of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s uneven five-plus-year tenure as DNC chair.
Wasserman Schultz’s resignation announcement Sunday afternoon comes as a bad situation just keeps getting worse — and appears as though it might continue to do so. That’s because WikiLeaks has so far released nearly 20,000 emails, new details are still being discovered, and there is still the prospect of additional, damaging emails coming to light.
Many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. Basically all of these examples came late in the primary — after Hillary Clinton was clearly headed for victory — but they belie the national party committee’s stated neutrality in the race even at that late stage.
Below is a running list of the most troublesome findings for Wasserman Schultz and her party. As new revelations come out, we’ll update it.
1) Targeting Sanders’s religion?
On May 5, DNC officials appeared to conspire to raise Sanders’s faith as an issue and press on whether he was an atheist — apparently in hopes of steering religious voters in Kentucky and West Virginia to Clinton. Sanders is Jewish but has previously indicated that he’s not religious.
One email from DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall read: “It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
Marshall added in a later email: “It’s these Jesus thing.”
In response, CEO Amy Dacey said: “Amen.”
2) Wasserman Schultz calls top Sanders aide a “damn liar”…
On May 17, after controversy erupted over the Nevada state Democratic convention and how fair the process was there, Wasserman Schultz herself took exception to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver’s defense of his candidate’s supporters.
“Damn liar,” she wrote. “Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and threatening behavior that occurred.”
3) … and says Sanders has “no understanding” of the party
That wasn’t the only time Wasserman Schultz offered an unvarnished opinion about the Sanders operation. And in one late-April email, she even questioned Sanders’s connection to the party.
“Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do,” she said in response to a Politico story about Sanders saying the party hadn’t been fair to him.
Sanders, for what it’s worth, wasn’t a Democrat before entering the Democratic primary. He caucused with the party but has long been an independent.
In that way, Wasserman Schultz’s comments could be read simply as her defending her party; Sanders was attacking the party, after all. But her comment also suggests a particularly dim view of Sanders that she didn’t feel the need to obscure in conversations with other DNC staff.
4) A Clinton lawyer gives DNC strategy advice on Sanders
When the Sanders campaign alleged that the Clinton campaign was improperly using its joint fundraising committee with the DNC to benefit itself, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias offered the DNC guidance on how to respond.
“My suggestion is that the DNC put out a statement saying that the accusations the Sanders campaign are not true,” Elias said May 3 in response to an email about the issue sent by communications director Luis Miranda to other DNC stuff that copied Elias and another lawyer at his firm, Perkins Coie.
To read expanded article, click here.