Following a suspension of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ access to a list filled with critical voter information, the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont filed a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee last Friday.
The suspension came after an announcement by campaign manager Jeff Weaver, which acknowledged that Sanders staffers had viewed and saved material gathered by Hillary Clinton that had been made temporarily public following a security breach earlier in the week. The DNC’s suspension would have crippled Sanders’s campaign, as it restricted access to computers containing information on Democratic-leaning voters and supporters of Sanders’s campaign. The data is used primarily to raise campaign funds, and the lack of access is costing the campaign an estimated $600,000 a day.
The lawsuit reached a conclusion after a tense few hours, with both sides ultimately agreeing on a deal. Upon announcing that a resolution had been reached, the Sanders campaign stated that the DNC had “capitulated” and Sanders would soon regain access to the voter list, while the DNC stated that the actions performed by the Sanders campaign were “completely unacceptable,” and that they would continue investigating the data breach.
The suspension was met with suspicions of sabotage by both Sanders supporters and members of the campaign, with Weaver alleging that the DNC’s suspension was intentional disruption. The claim, denied by the DNC, furthered the already mounting tension between Sanders, the DNC and Clinton, as Weaver continued by accusing the DNC of purposefully hindering Sanders campaign in order to aid Clinton’s.
Beyond the data breach debacle, which threatened to overshadow the third Democratic debate that occurred on Saturday, Dec. 19, Sanders further accused the DNC of deliberately scheduling debates at times of low viewership in order to protect Clinton, the party’s front-runner.
“I think everybody understands that Hillary Clinton, who I have a lot of respect for, is the establishment candidate,” Sanders professed in a television interview. “Virtually the entire establishment is supporting her, including the leadership of the DNC.”
According to audit data of the breach, Sanders staffers conducted 24 searches of Clinton’s data within a 40-minute time frame, focusing on early voting states and voters that were most and least likely to vote for Clinton.