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    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton winks at a supporter after speaking at a campaign rally at the Iowa State Historical Museum in Des Moines, Iowa

    DNC’s ‘PR Stunt’ Russia Lawsuit Reveals Dishonest Campaign Fraud Defense

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    The Democratic National Committee is stuck between a rock and a hard place, according to an attorney who says the DNC made statements during its political suit against Russia that expose the party once again to charges of campaign fraud.

    In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, Democrats learned the primary contest between Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Secretary Hillary Clinton was not exactly on the level. Under Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC went out of its way to undermine Sanders while exalting Clinton, a scandal that forced the Florida Democrat to resign from her leadership position.

    According to DNC email exchanges published by WikiLeaks that show the party's inner machinations in 2015 and early 2016, Wasserman Schultz said at one point of Sanders that "he isn't going to be president."

    MSNBC show host Mika Brzezinski called for Wasserman Schultz to resign for unfairly rigging the Democratic debate process against Sanders in May 2016. "It has been unfair and they haven't taken him seriously, and it starts quite frankly with [Wasserman Schultz]," Brzezinski said at the time. By the end of July, Wasserman Schultz had stepped down.

    Donna Brazile, who as DNC vice chair used her role at CNN to help secretly funnel debate topics to the Clinton team (a move she later called "a mistake") ascended into the role of DNC interim chair to replace the disgraced Wasserman Schultz.

    In the aftermath of Clinton's historic defeat by political novice Donald Trump in the 2016 general presidential election, Brazile exposed Clinton's personal control over the DNC — an organization that claims to be neutral between candidates vying for the party's presidential nomination.

    ​f the DNC was receiving contributions from donors under the auspices of supporting the party but was, in fact, directing the money to Clinton to do with what she wished, as Brazile claimed, explaining, "Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy and all the money raised," then donors could sue the DNC for fraud.

    More than 170 individuals did just that in September 2016, when it was already obvious that the DNC had worked systematically, and at the highest levels, to crush populist Sanders' would-be upset. Sanders supporters involved in the lawsuit said they had donated to the DNC under the assumption that the organization was conducting the primary elections in a fair and impartial manner.

    Initially, DNC attorneys argued that the donors could "air their general grievances with the DNC" and obtain redress "through the ballot box, the DNC's internal workings, or their right to free speech — not through the judiciary."

    By August 2017, a federal court had dismissed the DNC fraud lawsuit. The judge acknowledged "that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz held a palpable bias in favour of Clinton and sought to propel her ahead of her Democratic opponents." But despite the fact that this bias violated the DNC's charter and bylaws, which state "the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between Presidential candidates and campaigns," the judge said the accusers failed to show how they had sustained an injury.

    But the Democrats have made a slew of arguments in their lawsuit against Russia that contradict the DNC's previous arguments about why it wasn't responsible for people who thought they were contributing to an impartial organization, which is how the group describes itself in its bylaws.

    According to a letter filed on behalf of plaintiffs in the DNC fraud case June 20, Wasserman Schultz denied that class members contributed money to the DNC because of anything the DNC "said or did," which the court somehow bought as a valid argument.

    In a dramatic reversal, the DNC is now claiming that, because of alleged intrusion into DNC servers by Russian hackers, there was a "dramatic drop in donations" to the party.

    The party has embarrassingly argued that yes, in fact, it is the case that DNC partiality impacted donations. When Sanders supporters sued the DNC, the party claimed that was impossible, but once WikiLeaks revealed that the DNC was rigging the primaries, now they want their lost money back — from Russia!

    "The dissemination of hacked information heightened donors' concerns," the DNC argues in its amended complaint against Russia, adding this "resulted in a dramatic drop in donations."

    The DNC has now unwittingly given Sanders donors an opportunity to re-open the DNC fraud case. It's impossible to argue that the information showing Wasserman Schultz and the DNC were biased had no impact on party contributions: the DNC cites its own record of fundraising as evidence that there was a "dramatic" change in donations. It, however, attributes its sudden dry spell to fears about Russian hackers, not widespread disappointment in its handling of a high-profile campaign.

    "That political corruption and hypocrisy in the US has escalated past the point of entertainment into the realm of the truly absurd is evidenced by current DNC Chairman Tom Perez's straight-faced claim that ‘Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy,'" Disobedient Media reported June 23.

    Disobedient Media writer Elizabeth Vos, who was the first to break the story about the DNC's entertaining and contradictory shenanigans, spoke with Fault Lines on Radio Sputnik Friday to discuss the case.

    "Yes, I do agree," Vos said when asked if the DNC's lawsuit against Russia is backfiring. The lawsuit against Russia is a "PR stunt," she said, since the scurrilous statements about Russia in the lawsuit are "an opportunity for the press to toe that party line."

    "I think it's also, as you're referencing, an opportunity for the press toe that party line, but also to deflect from actual problems in the US that they're having," Vos told Sputnik, referring to the DNC's confessed lacked of ability to keep pace with Republican fundraising totals in 2018.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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