Why is there so little media attention given the class-action lawsuit filed June 28 accusing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Florida congresswoman who chaired it, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of fraud for skewing the party’s primaries to benefit Hillary Clinton?
The accusations haven't come from Republicans, either. Wasserman Schultz piqued the ire of 150 Democratic voters and donors who are still outraged, still feel Wasserman Schultz cheated them.
It's a drama playing out in U.S. District Court in Broward County, where the Dems' accusations specifically run to accusing their party and Wasserman Schultz of breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, unjust enrichment, and negligent misrepresentation for secretly helping Clinton get the presidential nomination over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
"But you don't hear a peep in the press," retired Miami broker and Sanders supporter Edmond Ross told Sunshine State News.
“Despite the requirements in the Charter, and in spite of the multiple public declarations of neutrality and impartiality with respect to the Democratic primary process, the DNC was not neutral,” a 35-page complaint states. “To the contrary, the DNC was biased in favor of one candidate -- Hillary Clinton -- from the beginning and throughout the process. The DNC devoted its considerable resources to supporting Clinton above any of the other Democratic candidates. Through its public claims to being neutral and impartial, the DNC actively concealed its bias from its own donors as well as donors to the campaigns of Clinton’s rivals, including Bernie Sanders."
The scandal broke when leaked DNC electronic mail showed the DNC favored and backed Clinton instead of Sanders during the primary. Wasserman Schultz resigned in disgrace as DNC chair, was publicly blasted by Sanders supporters and didn’t gavel in the party convention last summer in Philadelphia.
The Sun-Sentinel wrote it was a hurricane-force controversy over leaked emails that showed the DNC under Wasserman Schultz was helping Clinton while Sanders was still a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination. In the article, the veteran congresswoman from the city of Weston indicated she stepped down as DNC chair to focus on “making sure everyone knows that Hillary Clinton would make the best president.”
Democrats suing her insist the congresswoman violated DNC’s charter and bylaws that say the party chair “shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness” and “shall be responsible for ensuring that the officers and staff of the DNC maintain impartiality and evenhandedness.”
Wasserman Schultz also made public declarations vowing to run a neutral primary, according to the lawsuit, while she and the DNC pushed for Clinton from the start of the 2016 presidential election cycle.
The complaint cites a leaked internal DNC document dated May 26, 2015 listing a plan to provide a contrast between “GOP field and HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton]” as well as the use of “specific hits to muddy the waters around ethics, transparency and campaign finance attacks on HRC.”
The DNC and Wasserman Schultz had actual knowledge of the wrongfulness of the conduct, the lawsuit says, adding that the conduct was so reckless it constituted a conscious disregard for the rights of the plaintiffs.
In the absence of media interest, the attorneys representing the class, a husband-and-wife team from Miami who supported Sanders, created a website where all documents related to the case are posted as well as courtroom illustrations and information on hearings. The docket is extensive and dates back to June 2016 when the complaint was filed.
Says Judicial Watch, "This is a valuable tool because, unlike state cases, federal court records are not available to the public for free and must be purchased through the government’s online system known as Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). The database is most commonly used by attorneys and journalists (though not in this case) to research federal criminal, civil and bankruptcy cases. Having access to dozens of documents related to this case is a true bonus, especially since there’s been no local or national media coverage."
Judicial Watch, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit watchdog organization, is monitoring the case and circulating press releases on pertinent developments.
This case is in addition to a more recent scandal in which Wasserman Schultz is embroiled, involving her top information technology aide, Imran Awan, who was recently arrested on bank-fraud charges at the airport while trying to flee to his native Pakistan. Awan had just wired $283,000 from the Congressional Federal Credit Union to Pakistan, according to news reports, and he had been fired by other members of Congress -- but not by Wasserman Schultz -- after getting busted stealing computers and data systems months earlier.
Reach Nancy Smith at email@example.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith