WASHINGTON • Many Democrats have expressed outrage at allegations from a former party chairman that an agreement with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) gave the presidential campaign of Mrs Hillary Clinton some day-to-day control over the party early in the 2016 campaign.
Ms Donna Brazile, a former interim chairman of the party, says in a forthcoming book that an August 2015 agreement gave the Clinton campaign a measure of direct influence over the party's finances and strategy, along with a say over staff decisions and consultation rights over issues such as mailings, budgets and analytics.
The control was given in exchange for a joint fundraising pledge by the Clinton campaign that helped fund the DNC through the election year, Ms Brazile says. "This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity," she writes in a book scheduled for publication next week, a portion of which was excerpted on Thursday on Politico.
During the campaign, the DNC and its then-chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz fiercely denied any suggestion that the party was helping Mrs Clinton over other candidates. The presidential campaign of Mrs Clinton's rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, had criticised Ms Wasserman Schultz for, among others, allowing party money to be used for Mrs Clinton's fundraising.
In response to the report, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said she believed the primary contest between Mrs Clinton and Mr Sanders had been rigged. "This is a real problem," she said. "We have to hold this party accountable."
The party's current leadership has said it would address the problem. DNC chairman Tom Perez said: "One of my goals here, as DNC chair, is to make sure that the nominating process for 2020 is a process that's fair and transparent for everybody."