AUGUST 07, 2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, The mainstream media is conspicuously ignoring a newsworthy class-action lawsuit accusing the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Florida congresswoman—Debbie Wasserman Schultz—who chaired it of fraud for skewing the party’s primaries to benefit Hillary Clinton. The drama is playing out in a south Florida federal court where 150 Democratic voters and donors are also 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.
“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 (“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 (“Sanders”).
The scandal broke when leaked DNC electronic mail showed that the committee 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. Her hometown newspaper wrote that 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 Broward County, Florida indicated that she stepped down as DNC chair to focus on “making sure that everyone knows that Hillary Clinton would make the best president.”
Democrats suing her insist that the congresswoman violated DNC’s charter and bylaws that say 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 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 to the rights of the plaintiffs.
In the absence of media interest, the attorneys representing the class, a husband-and-wife team from Miami that 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. 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.
The most recent activity in this ongoing political legal drama occurred just weeks ago when plaintiffs and their lawyers filed a motion seeking court-ordered security guards after being harassed and intimidated. Weird emails and phone calls as well as a break-in at a plaintiff’s Dassel, Minnesota home were cited in the motion. The Ft. Lauderdale-based judge, a Reagan appointee, denied the request because plaintiffs live in dozens of different states and it would require the entire United States Marshals Service to direct all of its efforts and attention to this specific case. “For their part, defendants deny any role in the incidents described in plaintiff’s motion,” the judge, William Zloch, wrote in his order. The saga continues and Judicial Watch will monitor it and report pertinent developments.
In the meantime, Wasserman Schultz is embroiled in another major scandal 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 a news report, and he had been fired by other members of Congress after getting busted stealing computers and data systems months earlier. For unknown reasons, Wasserman Schultz kept Awan, whose entire family is embroiled in a major scam, and he had access to her emails and files as well as the password to the electronic device the congresswoman used for DNC business before she was booted out last summer. Wasserman Schultz’s gatekeepers are shielding the notoriously media savvy politician from the media and a Florida newspaper points out that “the Weston Democrat has not explained why she continued to employ Awan,” until his arrest. Judicial Watch has launched an investigation and is pursuing public records.