WASHINGTON, Dec. 26 (UPI) — The presidential campaign for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is keeping up its fight against the Democratic National Committee after the campaign was penalized for a data breach weeks ago.
Yahoo News reported the lawsuit filed by the Sanders campaign on Dec. 18 is still ongoing, as it seeks answers in the aftermath of the breach.
The breach was revealed earlier that morning. A bug in the voter data software managed by NGP VAN allowed the Sanders campaign access to data from the Clinton campaign. In response, the DNC suspended the Sanders campaign’s access to the data. The Sanders camp responded in force. Jeff Weaver, press secretary for the campaign, held a news conference that afternoon, alleging the suspension was part of a “pattern” of behavior that suggests the DNC is protecting Clinton’s front-runner status. The lawsuit followed later that afternoon.
NGP VAN has said the breach was a result of a bug that emerged during maintenance of the VoteBuilder system earlier that week.
The voter file in question is a master list of Democratic voters which the DNC owns and rents to campaigns. Campaigns add their own information gathered by field workers and volunteers. Firewalls between the campaigns are supposed to prevent breaches. The bug in question downed those firewalls temporarily.
The Sanders campaign also fired Josh Uretsky, their national data director. A top adviser for the Sanders camp told Yahoo News that Uretsky was recommended to the campaign by NGP VAN and the DNC. The adviser said that fact alone could be further evidence of a conspiracy to protect the Clinton campaign. Sanders’ campaign has also suspended two other staffers following the breach.
The Clinton campaign has not taken the scandal lying down, accusing the Sanders campaign of theft, releasing several logs that show Sanders staffers accessing Clinton data more than 20 times after the firewalls were compromised.
“This is one of the things that we were whipsawed in over the course of the, you know, 48 hours,” the Sanders adviser told Yahoo News. “NGP VAN was leaking information, clearly provided documents to the DNC and the Clinton campaign — or the DNC was providing those documents to the Clinton campaign. Documents that we didn’t have.”
This is not the first time the DNC has been accused of favoring Clinton. Trailing third-place candidate Martin O’Malley said the choice to schedule presidential debates on the weekends protects Clinton’s lead. The Sanders campaign also expressed dismay at the lack of prime time debates.