A class-action lawsuit filed against the Democratic National Committee and disgraced former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz by supporters of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders reached a courtroom Thursday with attorneys for the DNC arguing the party is not obligated to remain neutral in management of its presidential primary framework.
Filed in June 2016 by Florida attorney Jared Beck, the suit accuses the DNC and Wasserman-Schultz of fraud, negligent misrepresentation, unlawful trade practices causing damage, unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence by the DNC Donor Class.
DNC attorneys argued Article V, Section 4 of the DNC Charter, which reads the committee chair shall “exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns,” is “a discretionary rule that it didn’t need to adopt to begin with.”
In essence, DNC attorneys contended in court the Democratic Party is under no obligation to guarantee a fair nomination format and the court system has no basis to judge party rules.
“[I]f you had a charity where somebody said, Hey, I’m gonna take this money and use it for a specific purpose, X, and they pocketed it and stole the money, of course that’s different. But here, where you have a party that’s saying, We’re gonna, you know, choose our standard bearer, and we’re gonna follow these general rules of the road, which we are voluntarily deciding, we could have — and we could have voluntarily decided that, Look, we’re gonna go into back rooms like they used to and smoke cigars and pick the candidate that way. That’s not the way it was done. But they could have. And that would have also been their right, and it would drag the Court well into party politics, internal party politics to answer those questions,” DNC attorney, Bruce Spiva, told the court.
On the campaign trail in 2016, Sanders and his supporters long argued Wasserman-Schultz and top DNC officials had conspired against him in favor of eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.
The strategy, Sanders supporters say, included: Scheduling televised debates to benefit Clinton and DNC Vice-Chair Donna Brazile assisting the Clinton campaign with topics and questions ahead of debates.
Following revelations by whistleblowing platform WikiLeaks, which uncovered the coordinated effort by Wasserman-Schultz and DNC executives to tip the playing field in favor of Clinton, Wasserman-Schultz and three other DNC officials resigned.
[RT America] [Washington Examiner] [Jam PAC/YouTube] [Photo courtesy AP/Lynne Sladky via Salon]