The eventful week in Democratic National Committee (DNC) leaks began last Tuesday with a statement from interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile, who doubled down on the “DNC was hacked by Russians” theory, even planting the idea that “it is common for Russian hackers to forge documents.” She then stated that people who wish to view the leaked documents should “proceed with extreme caution given the potential malware risks.”
Sure enough, WikiLeaks released its latest DNC leak files via twitter Tuesday night:
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) September 13, 2016
Soon, Twitter was alight with people pouring over the leaks. However, with the exception of alternative media outlets and the odd article about Colin Powell, most of the media seem to have ignored this latest batch of leaks. Here is a peek at the contents of the WikiLeaks release along with the Guccifer 2.0 leaks that also dropped this week.
One of the topics immediately seized upon was the apparent pay-to-play system that the Democratic party has set up. Below is a screenshot from one particular spreadsheet, dated November 26, 2008, that caught people’s eyes:
People began to compile a list of top DNC donors/fundraisers and the government positions they had received. The most up to date list is below:
Most of these people raised over a million dollars for the DNC. In exchange, many of them received ambassadorships. But a few, such as Julius Genachowski and Tony West, received other positions (Chairman of the FCC and Deputy Attorney General, respectively). The starting date of many of these positions is after 2008. So, many have been appointed by President Obama.
DCLeaks.com reveals Colin Powell emails
Also in the leaks released on Tuesday were Colin Powell emails, specifically numerous exchanges between Powell and Jeffrey Leeds and some between Powell and Condoleezza Rice.
One of the most serious revelations was Powell’s acknowledgment of Isreal’s nuclear weapons: “Anyway, Iranians can’t use one [a nuclear weapon] if they finally make one. The boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands.”
Then there are less serious emails. These emails imply that Clinton and President Obama aren’t as chummy as they might want the public to think they are. Leeds mentions that Clinton “HATES” that Obama beat her in 2008, adding that the Clintons refer to Obama as “that man.” Leeds also says in another email, dated March 2016, that Obama wouldn’t “weep” if Clinton were in “real legal trouble” and that Clinton will “pummel his legacy if she gets a chance.”
Then, there is this Powell email:
Democrats redistrict, too
Another revelation was a series of documents that detailed the Democratic party’s strategy to redistrict and gerrymander their way back into control of Congress. These documents include explanations and a presentation with maps. There is even a specific software called Maptitude, which was being pitched at a meeting, that state parties can buy.
One redistricting proposal included the following quote:
“Later in the summer, I suspect the focus will shift towards preparing for litigation. Data will be a crucial part of these cases. Lawyers and expert witnesses will need to understand how we constructed the data and what the important pieces are. In places where Republicans control the process, we will need to provide strong arguments that they are going beyond reasonable bounds in gerrymandering districts along racial and political lines. Where we control the process, we’ll need to show that our districts do not dilute minority influence, that our districts are purely partisan gerrymanders (so far protected by the Supreme Court), and not in violation of the myriad other opaque precedents that currently govern redistricting. The growth in Hispanic population – lacking equal growth in citizen voting-age population – will result in new legal challenges that will require massive amounts of data research and preparation to defend adequately in court. Redistricting case law, which is clear in only a very small number of instances, will likely be re-examined in the 2nd half of 2011 in both state and federal courts, with data underpinning every argument.”
Progressive Army’s exclusive Guccifer 2.0 leak
On Wednesday, my colleague Salam Morcos obtained an exclusive Guccifer 2.0 leak, including numerous documents specific to the North Carolina Democratic party. These documents showed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) concern over a challenge to incumbent Rep. Alma Adams (D-NC-12) in her primary, including indications that the DCCC was providing support to her.
Adams is not the only incumbent that the DCCC has been working to help in NC, however. In a memo to DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján (D-NM-03), a meeting with Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC-01) is discussed. The stated purpose of the meeting was “to come to consensus on a map that protects incumbents and provides pick-up opportunities.”
More files from Guccifer 2.0
The latest Guccifer 2.0 leaks, posted on September 15, revealed how the DCCC picked favorites in various campaigns in multiple states, working closely with them to help them win. But they didn’t just have favorites at the state level.
On April 27, 2015, Jason Bresler from the DCCC emailed Rep. Kurt Schrader in Ohio to ask him to encourage State Senator Lou Gentile to run for Congress. In that email, a listed talking point is: “With former Governor Ted Strickland and Secretary Clinton on the ballot, there will be a boost from the top of the ticket.”
At this point in time, Hillary Clinton was the only Democratic candidate in the race. Yet, another email from Bresler dated December 9, 2015, uses the same wording: “With former Governor Ted Strickland and Secretary Clinton on the ballot, there will be a boost from the top of the ticket.” This was in an email to Rep. Heck, asking him to urge Mayor Lorentz to run for Congress in Ohio.
At this point, this clearly shows that the DCCC favored Clinton as the candidate to win the Democratic Primary and become the party’s nominee. It is important to note that the polls around this time did give Clinton a sizeable lead over rival Bernie Sanders, consistently showing a 20-30% gap between the candidates.
But this certainty seems to vanish by April 13, 2016. In this email from Bresler to Heck regarding Auditor Keith, the wording changes to: “Governor Strickland won this district with nearly 60% in 2006 he narrowly lost this district in the 2010 Republican wave. Him being on the ballot will be very helpful.” Clinton’s name is not mentioned.