Hillary Clinton took control of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in August 2015, almost a year before she was the party’s nominee, which “compromised the party’s integrity,” according to former interim DNC head Donna Brazile.
Not a single current or former DNC official or aide, however, came forward with any inkling of the staggering ethical breach for well over two years — and Brazile only spilled the beans then as part of a lucrative book deal.
WATCH: TRUMP REACTS TO HILLARY PAYING OFF DNC
“Just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination,” Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, signed an agreement with Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook specifying “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 in her book.
“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.”
Between incoming and outgoing DNC staff and Clinton campaign staffers, multitudes of people would have been impacted by these conditions. Though most wouldn’t have been privy to the actual terms of the agreement, if the Clinton camp had to approve hires, staff who thought they were interviewing to administer a primary campaign may have had to interact with officials out of Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters, and seemingly would have sensed that people with approval from the Clinton world were being treated differently.
“The fact that people who may have known about the wrongdoing decided to keep the information to themselves and not come forward for the greater good is deeply disappointing, but it’s not surprising given how whistleblowers are treated in society,” Elizabeth Beck, who represented disaffected DNC donors in a class-action lawsuit against the organization, told TheDCNF. The donors, many of them supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, said they gave to the group on the assumption that their money would go to the rightful winner of a fairly-contested primary.
Managers on the Clinton campaign, of course, would be well aware that they had permission to make decisions for the DNC even before she was the nominee.
But in a cone of silence and complicity, no one became a whistleblower or raised the issue to the media–not before or after the primary election, and not even after the general election.
“The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. 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 wrote in an excerpt published Thursday in Politico.
Brazile signed a book deal with Hachette Book Group and wrote “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House,” released a year after the 2016 election. Though she says she was disgusted to learn of the arrangement in September 2016, she did not disclose it publicly until now.
In the excerpt, she pins the blame for the DNC’s unfair administration of the primary election on Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But it was Brazile herself, in fact, who took part in the most high-profile example of DNC officials putting their thumbs on the scale, when Brazile–who worked as a CNN contributor–gave a debate question to Clinton in advance.
Brazile claimed the emails were “doctored” by “Russian sources” and that she wouldn’t share debate questions with candidates ahead of time. Server-handshake codes later proved the emails were unaltered, and Brazile apologized for giving Clinton the questions.
Clinton did not mention her acceptance of the questions in her own book, “What Happened”
“I don’t know the internal mechanisms of how the DNC hires people, and I don’t know about any individual DNC employee and what their reasons are for not coming forward, but when people are part of a very large organization, especially one like the DNC which holds itself out as some sort of purveyor of moral rectitude, there can develop this perception that whatever they do, just because it’s being done by this organization, it must be right,” Beck said.
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