Donna Brazile has torn open an old, persistent wound within the Democratic Party.
In her new book, the former interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman makes a bold — if previously suspected — allegation: Before she took over the organization in the summer of 2016, leaders within the party showed considerable favoritism toward Hillary Clinton during the primary election campaign.
From the start, Brazile writes, the scale was tipped in favor of former Secretary of State Clinton — and against Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. It centers on a fundraising agreement that Clinton's campaign signed with the DNC that essentially kept the committee afloat and allowed her aides to control the party.
"The funding arrangement with HFA (Hillary for America presidential campaign committee) and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical," Brazile writes in an excerpt of the book published by Politico. "If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead."
Brazile writes that shortly after becoming chair, she called Sanders to explain how Clinton had exerted a "control of the party long before she became its nominee."
"Had I known this, I never would have accepted the interim chair position, but here we were with only weeks before the election," Brazile writes.
Sanders' campaign also signed an agreement, but decided against raising money for the DNC and state parties.
Throughout the primary, Sanders, whose populist message resonated with the party's liberal base, battled with the DNC, saying the organization was showing favoritism toward Clinton by, among other things, offering a limited number of debates.
Jeff Weaver, who served as Sanders' campaign manger, said Thursday that Brazile's book "confirms what many understood to be the case."