Crisis averted. And by crisis, I mean the risk of embarrassing the DNC tonight in its Peekaboo Debate by exposing it as a wholly owned subsidiary of Clinton, Inc. But both sides are still telling different stories, according to The Hill:
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign overnight Friday night reached an agreement on voter data access, after a day of acrimony between the sides.
Even in the wake of a deal, the DNC and Sanders’ team have differing stories on how it was settled. …
“We are extremely pleased that the DNC has reversed its outrageous decision to take Sen. Sanders’ data. The information we provided tonight is essentially the same information we already sent them by email on Thursday,” said Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver.
In a statement released at about the same time, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz explained the resolution differently, saying it came after the Sanders camp “complied with the DNC’s request to provide the information that we have requested of them.”
“The Sanders campaign has agreed to fully cooperate with the continuing DNC investigation of this breach,” she added.
“The fact that data was accessed inappropriately is completely unacceptable, and the DNC expects each campaign to operate with integrity going forward with respect to the voter file.”
So who’s telling the truth? The fact that Sanders’ campaign filed a lawsuit against the DNC last night might provide a clue:
The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont filed a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee on Friday, arguing that the party had unfairly suspended the campaign’s access to key voter information. After several tense hours, both sides announced a deal had been reached.
The suit came shortly after campaign manager Jeff Weaver acknowledged at a Washington news conference that Sanders staffers had improperly reviewed information gathered by rival Hillary Clinton earlier in the week. But he accused the DNC of overreacting to the breach by suspending the Sanders campaign’s ability to access the computer system containing information about Democratic-leaning voters, including data the campaign has gathered about its own supporters. …
Without a quick resolution, the messy public brawl threatened to overshadow Saturday’s third Democratic presidential debate and cast doubt on the DNC’s ability to manage the sophisticated data tools necessary for the party to win the White House next year. And it sparked significant suspicions among Sanders supporters that the party was conspiring to give a boost to Clinton.
Overshadow tonight’s debate? The only way it could possibly more shadowed already is if it was being broadcast on UHF at 3 AM. With Slovakian overdubs. The DNC’s intent to boost Hillary is already painfully obvious in its scheduling of these debates, pushing them off to a day and time when the fewest potential viewers could watch them live. No one needed this data-access controversy to reach the conclusion that the DNC is throwing this primary. That doesn’t mean that Wasserman Schultz wants it to break open during tonight’s debate either, which gives observers a pretty good reason to trust Team Bernie’s version of events.
For sheer chutzpah, though, watch Team Hillary spokesman blast Sanders for allowing an “act of theft,” and demanding accountability for illegal actions in regard to data integrity (via Mediaite):
Brian Fallon, a Clinton campaign spokesman, called into CNN tonight, very angry about the reported 24 separate intrusions by the Sanders campaign. He said this was a clear “act of theft, stealing data from the Clinton campaign,” and Sanders isn’t living up to that “different kind of campaign” he promised.
“They were very productive,” Fallon told Wolf Blitzer. “They were like kids in a candy store, Wolf. They had about 40 minutes where they ran wild.”
He called the lawsuit “an act of chutzpah” and said the Sanders staffers attempted to save some of the data locally.
One has to especially respect this level of chutzpah:
Hillary Clinton’s campaign alleged on Friday evening that Bernie Sanders staffers engaged in what was “potentially a crime,” and demanded the Sanders campaign prove they don’t still have access to the breached voter files.
“This is totally unacceptable and may have been a violation of the law,” said Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook.
“There may be damage here that can’t be undone and I hope the Sanders campaign will acknowledge what they did, but we need assurances as soon as possible that they can’t continue to do more damage,” he continued.
“Potentially a crime”? “Damage here that can’t be undone”? Mook should turn his attention to his boss’ use of a secret e-mail system that has transmitted 999 messages with classified information. The ads for the RNC just write themselves at this point. “Hillary’s more concerned with protecting GOTV data than national security!” they would scream, and they’d be accurate.
Perhaps Wasserman Schultz realizes that demanding accountability for illegal data transmission might make a general election with Hillary as the nominee problematic at best. Maybe Bernie Sanders will make that point during tonight’s debate, but if the DNC hadn’t backed down, Sanders would definitely have made that point tonight — either in the debate, or a press conference outside of it, or maybe when announcing an independent run for the presidency.