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A new tell-all from a former top-level official with the Democratic National Committee accuses Hillary Clinton of financially hijacking the DNC ahead of the 2016 presidential primary, fatally wounding challenger Sen. Bernie Sanders‘s (I-Vt.) chances at victory.
Donna Brazile, a political analyst and former interim chair of the DNC, wrote in Politico Magazine on Thursday that the campaign for Hillary Clinton took over the DNC’s day-to-day funding operations early in the 2016 primaries in exchange for it helping pay off debt it had incurred from past campaigns.
Brazile says that she discovered an agreement between the Clinton campaign and the party that essentially put the campaign in charge of the party’s finances in exchange for helping bring down debt it incurred from President Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012.
“The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised,” Brazile wrote. “Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.”
The agreement was signed in August 2015, just four months after Clinton announced her candidacy for president.
“The funding arrangement with [Hillary For America] and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical,” Brazile wrote. “If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.”
Brazile recounts her call to Sanders to tell him of her discovery of the agreement. Sanders, according to Brazile, took the news “stoically.”
You can read Brazile’s entire recounting of the agreement here.