In an exclusive article published by Politico, former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile claims former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, used “unethical” finances to reign in the DNC during the primary race against opponent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
Brazile writes that as she took control of the DNC after the convention, she had promised Bernie that she would uncover the truth of whether Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign team had rigged the nomination process.
She had felt compelled to research the allegations after emails of the Democratic National Committee had been stolen or leaked and then published online suggesting Clinton had rigged the primary process.
“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,” Brazile said. “But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.”
Brazile wrote the following,
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 claims Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign, told her over the phone that the Democratic Party was broke and in debt $2 million.
She claims to have learned that President Obama had left the party $24 million in debt. $15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 presidential campaign.
President Obama’s campaign was not due to pay it off until 2016, however Hillary for America and the Hillary Victory Fund both helped pay off 80 percent of the debt in 2016.
“If I didn’t know about this, I assumed that none of the other officers knew about it, either,” Brazile wrote. “That was just Debbie’s way.”
“In my experience she didn’t come to the officers of the DNC for advice and counsel,” she wrote. “She seemed to make decisions on her own and let us know at the last minute what she had decided, as she had done when she told us about the hacking only minutes before the Washington Post broke the news.”
Brazile again writes,
“Gary, how did they do this without me knowing?” I asked. “I don’t know how Debbie relates to the officers,” Gary said. He described the party as fully under the control of Hillary’s campaign, which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. 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 clearinghouse. 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.
Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund—that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement—$320,000—and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.
“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”
Brazile claims Gary told her that if the campaign had not done it, the party was in danger of collapsing.
Gary explained to Brazile that the deal was struck between Debbie and Robby Mook, former campaign manager for Clinton.
Brazile claims she was “livid” after learning the details of the financial situation of the party that she had just inherited.
(Written & Edited by Bart Charles Begley)