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Donna Brazile says Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign hijacked nomination process

Donna Brazile, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, answers questions on the floor Monday, July 25, 2016, at
Donna Brazile, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, answers questions on the floor Monday, July 25, 2016, at the Democratic National Convention. (Michael Bryant/Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS)

NEW YORK — Bernie may have been on to something.

The former interim chief of the Democratic National Committee opened up about the financial turmoil within the organization as well as the heartbreak she experienced when she uncovered evidence indicating Hillary Clinton commandeered the committee well before she nabbed the presidential nomination.

In an excerpt from her upcoming book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House” featured by Politico, Donna Brazile recalled investigating the DNC following a series of hacked emails suggested Clinton hijacked the party.

Following Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s July resignation ahead of the 2016 national convention, Brazile stepped in to helm the Democratic Party. In a matter of months she found the evidence against the Clinton campaign she hoped she never would.

“By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart,” she wrote, referring to Clinton’s rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.

In the excerpt, Brazile described an agreement between the Clinton campaign, Clinton’s joint fundraising committee and the DNC that “specified in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised.”

The agreement was made in part to financially revive the party, which had been in debt since the 2012 re-election of President Barack Obama, according to Brazile.

The Democratic National Committee on Thursday dismissed Emily Mellencamp Smith, the party’s finance director, in a bid to shake up leadership behind the party’s fundraising efforts, sources told Politico.

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Brazile said she wasn’t aware of the committee’s financial chaos — it was about $23 million in debt — when she took over, blaming Wasserman Schultz for her lack of interest in “controlling the party.”

She additionally pointed out the agreement was signed in August 2015, which granted Clinton control of the party long before she earned the presidential nomination. She noted that while the deal was not illegal, “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,” she wrote. “This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.”

The excerpt concludes with Brazile’s explaining the situation to Sanders over the phone. She recounted how she urged the Vermont senator to push his followers toward Clinton and continue to fight as the “alternative was a person who would put the very future of the country in peril.”

“When I hung up the call to Bernie, I started to cry, not out of guilt, but out of anger,” Brazile wrote. “We would go forward. We have to.”

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