More revelations have come to light about Donna Brazile passing on debate questions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. CNN just announced today that they were uncomfortable with the news and had not provided Brazile with any of that information. Now, it looks like these revelations may help the DNC class action lawsuit, where supporters are seeking damages based on a primary that was not neutral.
Here’s what you need to know.
The Lawsuit Is Based on the Allegation That the DNC Supported Clinton in the Primaries Rather Than Remaining Neutral
Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters and other voters have requested to join DNC class action lawsuit, which is being led by Beck & Lee Trial Lawyers, a civil litigation firm based in Miami. The suit alleges that the DNC’s favoritism of Clinton over Sanders amounted to fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment. The lawsuit is based on DNC internal emails which show the DNC was working behind the scenes to boost Clinton. These emails show that work starting as early as May 2015, a month after Sanders had entered the race. Jared Beck told US Uncut that Article 5 Section 4 of the Democratic Party charter and bylaws requires the chair of the DNC to stay neutral during the primaries:
In the conduct and management of the affairs and procedures of the Democratic National Committee, particularly as they apply to the preparation and conduct of the Presidential nomination process, the Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.”
Beck is also basing the fraud lawsuit on the idea that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed neutrality, despite evidence that she may have been tipping the scales for Clinton.
In a YouTube video about the lawsuit, Beck said there were six claims to the case. The first is fraud against the DNC and Wasserman Schultz, stating that they broke legally binding agreements by strategizing for Clinton. The second is negligent misrepresentation. The third is deceptive conduct by claiming they were remaining neutral when they were not. The fourth is is retribution for monetary donations to Sanders’ campaign. The fifth is that the DNC broke its fiduciary duties during the primaries by not holding a fair process. And the sixth is for negligence, claiming that the DNC did not protect donor information from hackers.
When the DNC filed a brief supporting its motion to dismiss the lawsuit in October, one if its claims was that if Sanders’ supporters already knew the DNC was biased, they didn’t have a case.
WikiLeaks Emails Show Donna Brazile Leaked At Least Two Questions to Clinton Before Bernie-Clinton Debates
The first WikiLeaks leaked email to bring Brazile’s actions to light was about a death penalty question.
On March 12, 2016 at 4:39 p.m., Donna Brazile sent an email titled “From time to time I get the questions in advance.” The email was about a death penalty question for Hillary Clinton that worried her. Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton Communications Director, responded to Donna and another person on Clinton’s campaign, writing: “Yes, it is one she gets asked about. Not everyone likes her answer but can share it…” Brazile was DNC vice chair at the time. One day later, a very similar question was asked of Clinton at a CNN Town Hall between Sanders and Clinton on March 13, Politico wrote. Brazile responded to the email’s release by saying she did not notify Clinton of a question in advance. Meanwhile, a Democratic party official claimed that the question was about an ABC panel that Brazile was appearing on the next day.
However, Roland Martin, who co-hosted the Town Hall with CNN’s Jake Tapper, had sent an email to CNN producers with three questions for the Town Hall, including one which dealt with the death penalty. According to Politico, the text of the death penalty question that Martin sent was identical to the text of the death penalty question that Brazile sent in her email. During the Town Hall with Clinton and Sanders, Martin introduced an audience member who asked Clinton a death penalty question in very similar language.
The second email, which revealed Brazile leaking a second town hall question, was released by WikiLeaks on Monday, October 31. Brazile’s subject line reads: “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash.” She continues: “Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint. Folks, I did a service project today. It’s so tragic. And what’s worse, some homes have not been tested and it’s important to encourage seniors to also get tested.”
She sent the email to both Palmieri and Podesta on March 5, 2016.
A big debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders took place on CNN on March 6.
CNN Said It Was ‘Completely Uncomfortable’ by the Revelations About Brazile
CNN has announced that it is uncomfortable with Brazile’s actions. When Brazile became the interim chair of the DNC after Wasserman Schultz resigned, she was suspended from her role as contributor at CNN and turned in her resignation. Since the news about the second email has come out, CNN has publicly announced that they accepted her resignation on October 14. CNN spokeswoman Lauren Pratapas said in a statement:
CNN never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate. We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.”
This Second Leak May Help the DNC Class Action Lawsuit
Donna Brazile was working for the Democratic National Committee when she participated in sending debate questions ahead of time to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, to help Clinton do better against Bernie Sanders. Since the DNC’s own bylaws require that it stay neutral during the primaries, these emails reveal, even more, that the DNC did not uphold its bylaws and promises to donors. This might have had a serious impact on the primary results, especially if these questions gave Clinton any kind of a boost during the debates.
As such, the revelation may help the DNC class action lawsuit. When the first revelation about Donna Brazile leaking a town hall question was revealed in mid-October, Beck said about the news:
The latest documents provided by Wikileaks confirm and add considerable detail to what prior leaks have disclosed: that the DNC was actively working to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign while colluding with the Hillary Clinton campaign behind the scenes. This is further evidence in support of our lawsuit, which seeks to hold the DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schultz accountable under the law for their failure to ensure a fair and neutral presidential nominating process.”
This latest news, which makes the leaking of debate questions even more apparent, will likely only serve to bolster evidence of attempts to undermine Sanders’ campaign.
Here are some reactions from people on Twitter to the latest news about Brazile:
One question that is really bothering people is why Clinton’s campaign would accept Brazile’s cheating. If they wanted to be transparent and above board, wouldn’t they have told her not to send them questions in advance? Instead, it appears they participated in cheating against Bernie Sanders during the primary.