There are three key findings to emerge from yesterday's dump of leaked DNC emails released by Wikileaks:
There had been a plot designed to smear Bernie Sanders and to hand the Democratic nomination to Hillary on a silver platter
There has been repeated collusion between the DNC and the media
There has been questionable fundraising for both Hillary Clinton and the DNC
First, a quick recap for those who missed the original report, yesterday Wikileaks released over 19,000 emails and more than 8,000 attachments from the Democratic National Committee. This is what the whistleblower organization reported:
WikiLeaks releases 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the top of the US Democratic National Committee -- part one of our new Hillary Leaks series. The leaks come from the accounts of seven key figures in the DNC: Communications Director Luis Miranda (10770 emails), National Finance Director Jordon Kaplan (3797 emails), Finance Chief of Staff Scott Comer (3095 emails), Finanace Director of Data & Strategic Initiatives Daniel Parrish (1472 emails), Finance Director Allen Zachary (1611 emails), Senior Advisor Andrew Wright (938 emails) and Northern California Finance Director Robert (Erik) Stowe (751 emails). The emails cover the period from January last year until 25 May this year.d
Subsequently, the Romanian hacker known as Guccifer 2.0 (who has denied he works with the Russian government), who has already released hundreds of hacked DNC emails previously, told The Hill he leaked the documents to Wikileaks.
An initial read of the thousands of emails in the data dump reveals top officials at the Democratic National Committee privately plotting to undermine Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, confirming a long-running allegation by the Sanders campaign who has claimed that the DNC and Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz had tipped the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton during the party’s presidential primary. They also reveal instances of media collusion as well as various questionable instances of fundraising.
Plotting Against Bernie Sanders
In an email from early May, DNC CFO Brad Marshall wrote about a plot to question Sanders’s religion. While not naming the Vermont senator directly, it talks about a man of “Jewish heritage” Marshall believes to be an atheist. It makes reference to voters in Kentucky and West Virginia, two states that were holding upcoming primary elections.
“It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist,” the email says.
“AMEN,” DNC Chief Executive Officer Amy K. Dacey replied.
Marshall did not respond to a request for comment. But he did tell The Intercept, which first noticed the email, “I do not recall this. I can say it would not have been Sanders. It would probably be about a surrogate."
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In an email that concerned Sanders out-polling Clinton in Rhode Island, where the state reportedly only had a fraction of voting stations open, one staffer took a contemptuous tone of Sanders’ supporters, speaking about them more as a nuisance than an arm of the party. “If she outperforms this polling, the Bernie camp will go nuts and allege misconduct,” the staffer writes, “They’ll probably complain regardless, actually.”
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Another email shows similar 'us and them' language being directed at Sanders supporters. “We have the Sanders folks admitting that they lost fair and square, not because we 'rigged' anything,” the email said. “Clinton likely to win the state convention with a slim margin and we'll send a release with final delegate numbers.”
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An email titled 'Bernie narrative' sent by DNC National Press Secretary Mark Paustenbach to Miranda indicates that top officials in the party were trying to find an angle to disparage the Vermont senator in the media.
“Wondering if there's a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess,” Paustenbach wrote in the May 21 message. “Specifically, [Debbie Wasserman Schultz] had to call Bernie directly in order to get the campaign to do things because they'd either ignored or forgotten to something critical.”
“It's not a DNC conspiracy, it's because they never had their act together,” Paustenbach suggested.
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Wasserman Schultz seemed to have already counted Sanders out of the race in a May 21 email, when there were still nine primaries to go. “This is a silly story,” the chairwoman said. “He isn't going to be president.”