Former interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile is sounding the alarm on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, claiming Clinton took money from state parties to fund her campaign.
In an op-ed published Thursday in Politico Magazine, Brazile said Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer for Clinton’s campaign, told her one day after the Democratic National Convention in July that the DNC was broke.
After members of Clinton’s campaign analyzed the DNC’s books, Brazile said Gensler told her that former President Barack Obama had left the Democratic Party in serious debt.
“Obama left the party $24 million in debt — $15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign — and had been paying that off very slowly,” Brazile wrote.
Brazile said Hillary for America, Clinton’s campaign fund, and the Hillary Victory Fund — a fundraising organization that worked with the DNC, had “taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.”
According to NPR, Brazile claimed Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who served as DNC chair from May 2011 until July 2016, allowed the Clinton campaign to accept a $2 million loan without ever alerting DNC officers.
Brazile said that the DNC was forced to comply with the Clinton campaign, using the DNC as a “fund-raising clearinghouse” because it desperately needed cash.
“Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee,” Brazile said.
“Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund — that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement — $320,000 — and $33,400 to the DNC,” she said.
Brazile claimed the Clinton campaign was taking money from Democrats at the state-level.
“The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn,” Brazile said.
“Wait,” Brazile reportedly quipped to Gensler after learning about how the campaign had been taking state-level fundraising money.
“That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races,” Brazile said. “You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”
Brazile claimed that the Clinton campaign struck a deal with Wasserman Schultz that allowed the campaign to take funds from state level Democratic entities, in exchange for the campaign giving the DNC monthly allowances to keep it afloat.
Brazile claimed the Clinton campaign began these financial transfers one year before Clinton secured the Democratic Party nomination.
Brazile added that she was livid when she got off the phone with Gensler.
“Back then the monthly expenses were half that. What had happened? The party chair usually shrinks the staff between presidential election campaigns, but Debbie had chosen not to do that,” Brazile said. “She had stuck lots of consultants on the DNC payroll, and Obama’s consultants were being financed by the DNC, too.”
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