Bernie Sanders’ campaign, reeling from allegations that it improperly accessed confidential Clinton voter data, has accused the Democratic National Committee of sandbagging him in an effort to help Hillary win the election.
The controversy is centered around the DNC’s voter database, which the DNC says was improperly accessed by at least four Sanders staffers. The Committee rents its extensive database to candidates and allows campaigns to update the lists with proprietary data for their own personal use.
At issue are confidential Clinton voter models, which were allegedly seen by Josh Uretsky, who has since been fired. According to the AP, a vendor used a software patch Wednesday that rendered the database’s firewalls ineffective, allowing candidates to access one another’s data.
Uretsky claims he was just trying to point the security flaw out to the DNC and didn’t realize he had violated any rules.
“We wanted to document and understand the scope of the problem so we could report it accurately,” he told MSNBC. “We didn’t actually use it for anything valuable and we didn’t take custodianship of it.”
According to people briefed on the matter, four different user names associated with the Sanders campaign conducted 25 separate searches of the Clinton data. A summary of audit trails of the logs show that people with the Sanders campaign searched and saved multiple files, according to two people briefed on the matter.
In the meantime, the DNC has barred Sanders’ campaign from the database, effectively kneecapping him right before the Iowa caucus. Calling the database “the lifeblood of any campaign,” Sanders’ campaign manager, Jeff Weaver is now accusing the Committee of sabotaging the campaign to help Hillary win.
“By their action, the leadership of the Democratic National Committee is now actively attempting to undermine our campaign. This is unacceptable. Individual leaders of the DNC can support Hillary Clinton in any way they want, but they are not going to sabotage our campaign - one of the strongest grassroots campaigns in modern history,” Weaver said in a statement Friday.
The DNC has not yet responded to his accusations.