(Photo Credit: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders accused the Democratic National Committee for helping Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Elections nomination race, right after the Democratic National Committee reported that a Sanders campaign staffer breached Clinton’s voter files.
Because of the breach, the Democratic National Committee has blocked the access to voter data to the Sanders campaign and has accused them for theft from the Clinton campaign. However, after a lawsuit Sanders issued in a US district court for improper suspension of the campaign’s access to voter data, the Democratic National Committee restored access.
According to Reuters, DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz stated that the Sanders campaign has given the information about the data breach and will help in the investigation. She said “Based on the information, we are restoring the Sanders campaign’s access to the voter file, but will continue to investigate to ensure that the data that was inappropriately accessed has been deleted and is no longer in possession of the Sanders campaign.”
On the other hand, the Sanders campaign held a press conference on Friday afternoon right before they filed the lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee. According to Reuters, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said the Sanders campaign was taken “hostage” with the blocking of voter files and stated “In this case it looks like they are trying to help the Clinton campaign. We need our data, which has been stolen by the DNC. That is what we want back.”
The Sanders campaign has said that the data breach of files concerning information like past voting and donation history is an isolated incident and that the staffer that did the accidental breach was fired immediately. The campaign blamed the DNC’s software vendor, NGP VAN for not having a proper firewall between the Democratic candidates’ data.
The Clinton campaign however has stated that the breach was much more extensive than the Sanders campaign is stating, with at least 24 occasions where the Sanders campaign has saved Clinton data lists from four different users. According to Reuters, the Clinton campaign stated “The Sanders campaign stole data from our campaign. There is some damage here that cannot be undone.” The Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said “We are asking that the Sanders campaign and the DNC work expeditiously to ensure that our data is not in the Sanders campaign’s account.”
The breach comes a day before the Democratic Presidential debate and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is making efforts to stop the Clinton campaign from furthering the lead for the nomination. According to the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll Clinton is the frontrunner with 60 percent support, compared to Sanders’ 29 percent.