Leading Democratic operative Donna Brazile revealed on Thursday that the Democratic National Committee set up a fundraising arrangement, effectively rigging the nomination process for the former Democratic nominee and front-runner Hillary Clinton.
When Brazile served as interim DNC chair during the 2016 election, she discovered that Clinton’s campaign signed an agreement, just after Clinton announced her candidacy in 2015, giving her control of “the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised.”
Former President Barack Obama, Brazile told Politico, left the DNC with $24 million in debt and Clinton took care of 80 percent of that. In exchange for her investment, the DNC gave Clinton greater control of the party’s operations, including final decisions on staff.
Brazile noted how the arrangement seemed to provide a reason for why she needed to run press releases by Clinton’s campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.
That agreement, in Brazile’s opinion, “compromised the party’s integrity”:
The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. 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. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.
Brazile also criticized her predecessor, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who she said 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,” Clinton said.
Schultz kept Brazile and others in the dark about the DNC’s debt as she had done with other issues.
“If I didn’t know about this, I assumed that none of the other officers knew about it, either. That was just Debbie’s way. In my experience she didn’t come to the officers of the DNC for advice and counsel,” Brazile wrote.
“She seemed to make decisions on her own and let us know at the last minute what she had decided,” she added, “as she had done when she told us about the hacking only minutes before the Washington Post broke the news.”