An independent investigation into the Democratic National Committee data breach just before the Iowa caucus last year has concluded that the Sanders campaign told the truth and is not guilty of any wrongdoing. In response, Bernie Sanders has withdrawn his DNC lawsuit, which may, at first, seem counterintuitive. But what is all this really about?
Here’s a statement released by the Sanders campaign in response to the independent investigation:
‘An independent investigation of the firewall failures in the DNC’s shared voter file database has definitively confirmed that the original claims by the DNC and the Clinton campaign were wholly inaccurate – the Sanders campaign never “stole” any voter file data; the Sanders campaign never “exported” any unauthorized voter file data; and the Sanders campaign certainly never had access to the Clinton campaign’s “strategic road map.” In fact, the independent investigation has confirmed what the Sanders campaign said from the start. […] With the investigation behind us, the campaign has withdrawn its lawsuit against the DNC today but continues to implore the DNC to address the systemic instability that remains in its voter file system.’
The lawsuit was filed in December after Sanders’ staffers were accused of improperly accessing Hillary Clinton’s voter information. In response, the DNC cut off Sanders’ access to his own voter files stored in the DNC database. The lawsuit was largely seen as a challenge to the DNC by Sanders for unfairly favoring Clinton.
Strangely, or not so strangely depending on what you think of major media outlets, there’s been little reporting on today’s findings. Politico and WSJ both published brief pieces, but other than that, it’s mostly a non-story. And maybe that’s all this is, a blip in an incredibly divisive election cycle. Still, it says a lot that Sanders has withdrawn the lawsuit against the DNC.
Maybe this is going to be a significant turning point after all. Is Sanders dropping the DNC lawsuit the first step toward the party pulling itself together for the general election? It could be, but there’s a lot more work to be done if that’s the case. And as Campaign Manager Jeff Weaver told CNN, Sanders isn’t planning on leaving the race anytime soon.