The Democratic National Committee (DNC) cut off Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ campaign’s access to the voter database it maintains after alleging Sanders’ people used it to improperly snoop on data that belonged to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Sanders’ campaign fired back with threats to sue the DNC. The DNC’s harsh reaction — denying Sanders access to the data* — fuels longstanding suspicion among Sanders supporters that the DNC favors a Clinton candidacy.
Staffers in Sanders’ camp read and even downloaded voter data that belonged to the Clinton campaign, according to DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Sanders’ data director Josh Uretsky, who was fired, told CNN, “We knew there was a security breach in the data, and we were just trying to understand it and what was happening.” Was the security breach only exposed to Sanders’ side, and not Clinton’s? Sanders supporters’ distrust of the DNC’s impartiality also leads to the question of whether the data breach was part of a possible phishing scheme by the DNC, where alluring data is purposely exposed to entice an action like what apparently transpired. Sound far-fetched? Why didn’t the security breach expose Sanders’ voter data to the Clinton campaign? It may have and Clinton’s team was just too disciplined to look. Of the harsh ban, Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager, said: “In this case, it looks like [the DNC] are trying to help the Clinton campaign.”
*A ban would mean Sanders’ teams across the country would lose access to critical voter information, hurting the campaign’s ability to reach out to voters via phone and in person. The ban is not the only issue that has Sanders supporters upset, though it is seen as a severe punishment for the transgression.