On Friday, Wikileaks released tens of thousands of Democratic Party emails provided to them by Romanian hacker Guccifer 2.0, in the latest of a wave of leaks directly hacked from DNC email servers. This leak, on the eve of Hillary Clinton’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention, may prove to be the most damaging to date.
Supporters of Vermont Senator Sanders claim that he faced an impossible fight against not only a skilled opponent, but the entire Democratic Party establishment. Sanders made this argument repeatedly before calling for the ouster of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Sanders called out his party for refusing to schedule debates between the two candidates at times that would maximize viewership, for shutting down his access to DNC voter files, and orchestrating an elaborate scheme with the Hillary Victory Fund to funnel money to Clinton’s campaign, away from state party offices.
However, it appears that the intrigue that propelled Clinton, who over 70% of Americans view as crooked according to the some polls, to the nomination, despite being the single least popular Democratic candidate in US history, goes further than Sanders could have imagined.
In a May 5 email, sent by the DNC’s chief financial officer Brad Marshall to the Democratic Party’s communications director and deputy director, an elaborate plot is exposed to take down Sanders, on the basis of his heritage and religious views, in stark contradiction to the DNC’s espoused ethos of inclusion.
"It might make no difference, but for [Kentucky] and [West Virginia] 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," reads an email from a top DNC official in May, a full month before the final primary contest in California and on the heels of a comeback romp for Sanders, suggesting that the Democratic Party would be willing to attack the religious beliefs of a candidate of their own party to benefit another candidate.
Marshall’s opinion was hardly a one-off among top DNC officials, however, with one email recipient, Amy Dancy, responding with a one word response: "Amen."
In another email chain, the DNC national press secretary plotted with the DNC communications director about planting a negative narrative about how Sanders had lost control of his entire campaign out of reckless incompetence and that it was his demeanor that caused him to struggle late in the campaign rather than a "DNC conspiracy."
"Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never had his act together, that his campaign was a mess. Specifically, [Schultz] had to call Bernie directly in order to get the campaign to do things because they'd either ignored or forgotten to something critical. She had to call Bernie after the data breach to make his staff to respond to our concerns. Even then they didn't get back to us, which is why we had to shut off their access in order to get them to finally let us know exactly how they snooped around [Clinton’s] data," read the email.
The message went on to say that the "Same was true with the standing committee appointments. They never got back to us with their names (HFA and even O'Malley got there's in six weeks earlier) for the committees. So, again, the chair had to call Bernie personally for his staff to finally get us critical information. So, they gave us an awful list just a few days before we had to make the announcements. It's not a DNC conspiracy, it's because they never had their act together."
Regarding false accusations that Sanders supporters had gotten violent at the Nevada State Convention after having their votes suppressed, the DNC communications director leaked a fictitious story that chairs were thrown, in a message to Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston, who ate up the spoon-fed line and kowtowed to a command to "Let’s get this around without attribution" – in other words, don’t let anybody know that the DNC made the story up.
The leaked emails prove what many already assumed, that the entire process was rigged from the start, and Sanders never had a fair shot. Whether Sanders supporters will appreciate the irony that it took a leak to prove that their candidate has been right about corruption all along, remains to be seen.