By Kyle Mannisi, Opinions Editor

Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairperson Donna Brazile announced the she had uncovered a written agreement from 2015 between the Democratic party and the Clinton campaign. In her newly released book entitled Hacks, Brazile accuses Clinton’s campaign of essentially pulling the strings more than a year before the Democratic primaries began. The deal would have allowed the Democratic party to be relieved of leftover debt incurred during Obama’s 2012 election in exchange for “control (of) the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised.”

Specifically, the DNC was instructed to hire a communications director in late 2015 from “one of two candidates previously identified as acceptable to HFA (Hillary for America),” months before the primaries began.

Brazile notes that the actions were not technically illegal, but highly unethical. To be fair, Brazile does have a fair amount of experience with unethical behavior. It was recently uncovered that she shared debate questions with Clinton, an act that any teacher would hastily reprimand a student for.

Former DNC chairperson, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz resigned in July 2016 ahead of the general election. She was forced to resign after thousands of sensitive emails were obtained by WikiLeaks from the email account of John Podesta, the chairman for Hillary’s campaign. The content of the emails ranged from casual office banter to strategic policy and campaign discussions. In one email leaked from former chairwoman Wasserman-Schultz, evidence of collusion is hard to ignore as she writes about how “silly” it was to even speculate about the possibility of Sanders securing the nomination.

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and former Ohio State Representative Nina Turner have expressed their beliefs that the primaries were “rigged” against Sanders. Brad Marshall, former Chief Financial Officer for the DNC had an email leaked wherein he discusses Sanders’ religious background and how it can be used as a wedge issue to dissuade potential Sanders supporters. “(Sanders) has skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist… My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist,” the email read.

Now we know that Sanders supporters weren’t just paranoid, as many Clinton supporters love to claim. We now have proof that the DNC consciously chose Hillary over Bernie extremely early on, and purposefully decreased his ability to utilize party functions and draw members to his campaign. These circumstances jeopardized Sanders’ ability to fairly compete for the nomination, but also had a large negative impact on fellow Democrats, extending the time-honored tradition of Democrats shooting themselves in the foot.

Wealthy donors who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution to the campaign were informed that they could donate an additional $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund, which had intended on giving $10,000 to each of the 32 states determined to be ‘non-battleground’ states and giving $33,400 to the national party apparatus. Most of the money that went to battleground states did stay there, but recent emails show that the Clinton campaign “was grabbing money from the state parties for its own purposes, leaving the states with very little to support down-ballot races.” One article from Politico described the process as ‘essentially money laundering,’ as state parties ultimately “kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding.”  

Obviously, nobody can know for sure what would have happened if Clinton the DNC had not colluded. It is growing increasingly obvious, however, that Hillary’s nomination was the result of a concentrated effort from the DNC to defame Sanders, who is now considered America’s most popular political figure according to Harvard polls.

The unfortunate truth is that Sanders was never given a real opportunity to compete with Clinton, who had the benefits of name-recognition and having the DNC under her control. Clinton outspent Trump at a rate of 2-to-1, yet still lost the general election due to basic voter concerns about her questionable policies and lackluster accountability record. As a result of collusion between the DNC and Clinton, the best possible Democratic challenger was not selected. Clinton artificially presented herself as the best hope for the Democrats in 2016 by pulling strings at the national level, and as a result was unable to garner the overwhelming support of actual voters.