Donna Brazile, the former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, called out Hillary Clinton and her campaign in a scathing excerpt from her new book provided to Politico.
Among other bombshell claims, Brazile said she found "proof" that Clinton had rigged the Democratic Primary against challenger Bernie Sanders.
"I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.
"So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.
"Debbie 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. How much control Brooklyn had and for how long was still something I had been trying to uncover for the last few weeks.
"By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart."
Brazile described an agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC, writing that the campaign would “control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised.” The agreement, which was signed in August 2015, appeared to be win-win: Clinton's campaign effectively gained complete control of the DNC, while the DNC gained financial assistance. Brazile wrote:
"The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearing house. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee."
While the agreement was technically not illegal, Brazile wrote that it struck her as "unethical."
Here's a the big question from Brazile: Why didn't she say anything until now? She went along with this scheme the entire time she was chairwoman of the DNC and didn't make a peep.
Although most ordinary Americans were unaware of the details of this agreement until now, it was plainly obvious to many that the DNC was rife with corruption. When Sanders dropped out of the race, Clinton assumed she would inherit all his votes; but many in Sanders' base were livid with the way their candidate was treated in the primary, and refused to turn out for Clinton in the general.
Sanders won over 40 percent of the popular vote before he dropped out of the race:
Despite receiving such a significant percentage of the popular vote, Sanders only received votes from 47 superdelegates --compared to the 602 received by Clinton. Superdelegates can vote for whichever candidate they choose, regardless of popular vote; many of these delegates are political insiders with strong ties to the DNC.
It's easy to see why so many in Sanders' base were unhappy.
Will Brazile's decision to speak out help the DNC conduct more fair and transparent primary elections in the future? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure: The Democratic Party significantly tarnished its reputation in 2016, likely turning off many potential Democratic voters.