Hillary Clinton’s campaign had an “unethical” fundraising agreement with the Democratic National Committee that may have disadvantaged political opponent and fellow Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), according to former interim chairwoman Donna Brazile.
In an excerpt published in Politico magazine on Thursday, Nov. 2, Brazile wrote that she’d stumbled upon an August 2015 agreement between the Clinton campaign and fundraising branch and the DNC that essentially gave Clinton “control of the party’s finances, strategy and all the money raised” in exchange for her investing money in the cash-strapped party.
“The funding arrangement with [Hillary for America] and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical,” she said. “If the fight had been fair, one campaign wouldn’t have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead.”
The ousted CNN contributor makes the surprising revelation in her book, titled “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-Ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House,” which is set to hit shelves Nov. 7.
According to Brazile, the DNC was swimming in $24 million worth of debt left from former President Barack Obama’s campaign in 2012. Clinton’s campaign and its joint fundraising arm, the Hillary Victory Fund, then swooped in to save the day, wiping away 80 percent of the party’s remaining debt (about $10 million) in 2016.
The party was still broke and $2 million in the hole, however, leaving Brazile to blindly inherit a mess she had no idea about until she went digging.
In more words than none, the political analyst bashed ex-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman- Schultz for letting things get so bad, describing her as a less-than-efficient “manager” who “had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt.” She also said Wasserman-Schultz had little interest in heading the party, so she let Clinton’s campaign in Brooklyn do it.
Wasserman-Schultz ultimately resigned as DNC chair in July 2016.
“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,” Brazile wrote. ” … It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.”
After making the “heartbreaking” discovery weeks before the primary election, Brazile said and had to break the news to Sanders, who had his suspicions about Clinton and the DNC. She promised the senator she’d get to the bottom of whether Clinton and her team rigged the nomination in her favor.
“I told Bernie I had found Hillary’s Joint Fundraising Agreement,” she wrote. “I explained that the cancer was that she had exerted this control of the party long before she became its nominee.
“Bernie took this stoically,” she added.
Brazile was dismissed from CNN last year it was revealed she leaked debate questions to Clinton ahead of time. Current DNC Chair Tom Perez took over February 2017. In a recent interview with CNBC, he declined to respond to his predecessor’s allegations about Clinton and the party.
“We’re moving forward,” Perez said. “One of my goals here as DNC chair is to make sure that the nominating process for 2020 is a process that is totally fair and transparent for everybody.”