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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaking at a campaign event in Pittsburgh, Penn. on April 4, 2016.  (Photo: Nathaniel F/flickr/cc)

Leaked Docs Reveal DNC Determined to Undermine Sanders Campaign

Trove of emails, released by WikiLeaks, reveal how higher-ups in Democratic National Committee sought to boost Clinton's campaign

Andrea Germanos

WikiLeaks on Friday published roughly 20,000 leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The whistleblowing organization describes the trove, which includes over 8,000 attachments, as "part one of our new Hillary Leaks series," and is just the latest in a series of document dumps that show the DNC—which, as the The Intercept notes, "isn't supposed to favor one Democratic candidate over another until they receive a nomination"—seeking to bolster the candidacy of the former secretary of state and working against that of rival Bernie Sanders.

It is unclear at this point whether the hacker known as Guccifer 2.0, who claimed responsibility for two previous leaks from the DNC servers, provided the latest documents to WikiLeaks.

The new leaks span from January 2015 to May 2016, and come from what WikiLeaks describes as "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)."

WikiLeaks highlighted on Twitter a few of the emails, such as one dated May 21, 2016 from DNC Deputy Communications Director Mark Paustenbach to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda regarding how to construct an anti-"Bernie narrative" focusing on the fact that he "never ever had his act together."

Another email dated May 5, 2016 (Subject Line: No Shit) from DNC Chief Financial Office Brad Marshall appears to show that the DNC sought to focus on Sanders' supposed atheism as a negative point.

It does not call the Vermont senator by name, but states: "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."

In another email dated May 19, 2016 from DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to Miranda and Paustenbach, she writes, "The Israel stuff is disturbing," in reference to a linked Washington Post article which states:

Sanders plans an aggressive effort to extract platform concessions on key policies that could prompt divisive battles at a moment when front-runner Hillary Clinton will be trying to unify the party. Among other issues, he plans to push for a $15 national minimum wage and argue that the party needs a more balanced position regarding Israel and Palestinians, according to a Sanders campaign aide who requested anonymity to speak candidly.

Miranda responded by writing, "HFA [Hillary for America ] specifically pushed that part of it. At least that's what it seems like from when Mark spoke to the reporter."

Wasserman Schultz then responded by saying, "Wait, you mean HFA pushed that Sanders wants to moderate our Israel plank in the platform or that they do?" to which Miranda responded: "The Israel plank, that they see it as an ideal issue to marginalize Bernie on."

In another email in the batch noted by Politico, this one from May 17, 2016, Wasserman Schultz writes to Paustenbach that Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, is a "damn liar," and in another, dated May 13, 2016, she writes, "He is an ASS," again referring to Weaver, after being "informed by Paustenbach that Weaver had said the Sanders campaign should continue 'to the convention,'" Politico adds.

As RT also reports: "Another email shows officials of the DNC—the governing body of the party that is supposedly neutral when it comes to Democratic candidates—using 'us and them' language when referring to Sanders supporters."

Green Party party presidential candidate Jill Stein's reaction to the documents was along the same lines. They "once again prove the collusion between the Hillary campaign and the DNC," she stated of the documents.

Sanders, for his part, has previously charged that the DNC was seeking to undermine his campaign.


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