Why Is Bernie Still Suing the DNC?
Bernie Sanders’s campaign is continuing a fight that doesn’t seem to be gaining any ground.
And no, it’s not the election.
During a national press call on Tuesday, Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver told The Daily Beast that the lawsuit they filed against the Democratic National Committee on Dec. 18 is still pending, nevermind that the issue that sparked the suit was resolved weeks ago. “The lawsuit is filed,” Weaver said. “It has not been withdrawn as yet. We are working in a collaborative way with the DNC to resolve issues and to deal with the data security issues. Everyone is working cooperatively at this point and trying to move forward.”
As of Dec. 21, the DNC was given three weeks to respond to the suit, which was filed after the Committee shut down the campaign’s access to crucial voter data in response to Sanders’s campaign admission that staffers had viewed data belonging to his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
And while the main cause of the lawsuit has been settled as access has been granted back to Sanders’s campaign, the question of damages—an exorbitant requested $600,000 a day—has not been resolved.
But the DNC doesn’t seem to be too intimidated by the lofty threat.
Luis Miranda, the DNC’s communications manager, told The Daily Beast that the organization was being cooperative in an independent audit of the incident and pushed back against any notion that the DNC was trying to steer the nominating process in favor of Clinton.
“Our goal has always been to support our candidates in a number of ways, from the voter file, to research to social media support, in order to build toward having the strongest possible operation in place for whoever emerges as our nominee,” Miranda said. “One of our candidates is going to be the 45th President of the United States and we’re going to keep the focus on their visions for moving America forward.”
But according to Miranda, the fight isn’t nearly as contentious as Sanders’s campaign has represented in recent weeks.
When Sanders himself was asked if he thought the DNC was treating him fairly in the aftermath of the data breach, he said, “I think in this instance they did not.”
“To shut off our access to our own information, to significantly hinder our campaign was a complete overreaction and that was absolutely wrong,” Sanders told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd.
Now that the access has been restored, the lawsuit reads as somewhat of a moot point, especially given Sanders’s own direct apology to Clinton during the last Democratic debate.
“Our staff did the wrong thing,” Sanders said at the time before apologizing to Clinton. He added, “I am not convinced that information from our campaign did not end up in her campaign.”
Weaver himself has attempted to paint the issue as a fight since it began, threatening to sue the party immediately as the news broke of the breach and their data was blocked off. Sanders’s campaign fired its national data director and two other aides after the problem was made public. When asked if any other staffers had been fired on Tuesday, Weaver did not directly respond.
“We’re still in discussions as I said,” he said addressing the second part of the question, which pertained to the status of the lawsuit. “The tone is very cooperative and collegial. We are—I think everybody is committed to ensuring data at the DNC is secure.”
It would appear that all parties involved—including Clinton’s—are interested in pursuing the independent audit of the breach itself. But when it comes to the additional lawsuit still floating in the ether, it seems that only team Sanders is still looking for a fight.