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Sanders sues the DNC over suspended access to critical voter list

Sanders sues the DNC over suspended access to critical voter list

By John Wagner, Abby Phillip and Rosalind S. Helderman for The Washington Post

The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont filed a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee on Friday, arguing that the party had unfairly suspended the campaign’s access to key voter information.

The suit came hours after campaign manager Jeff Weaver acknowledged at a Washington news conference that Sanders staffers had improperly reviewed information gathered by rival Hillary Clinton earlier in the week. But he accused the DNC of over­reacting to the breach by suspending the Sanders campaign’s ability to access the computer system containing information about Democratic-leaning voters, including data the campaign has gathered about its own supporters.

Following a telephone conference with a judge, attorneys for Sanders and the DNC continued to work late Friday night toward an accommodation, aides to Sanders said.

Without a quick resolution, the messy public brawl threatened to overshadow Saturday’s third Democratic presidential debate and cast doubt on the DNC’s ability to manage the sophisticated data tools necessary for the party to win the White House next year. And it sparked significant suspicions among Sanders supporters that the party was conspiring to give a boost to Clinton.

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz rejected that allegation late Friday, alleging that Sanders staffers had exploited a software error to essentially “steal” data from Clinton’s campaign. Wasserman Schultz said the party would not allow Sanders access to the critical database again until his campaign agreed to an independent audit of what happened.

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