Four Questions Bernie Sanders Needs to Answer

We’re glad that the Sanders campaign and DNC reached an agreement last night and that the Sanders campaign has agreed to an independent audit of the data breach.

This saga – and having our campaign’s hard work violated by the Sanders’ campaign – has been disturbing to our campaign and the volunteers who worked hard to build a strong organization.  But it has also been a distraction from the issues that the American people care about. We think those issues should be the focus of the debate tonight: issues like raising wages, access to healthcare, and keeping America safe. However, given news that Senator Sanders and his team apparently want to make this topic the centerpiece of their debate strategy, here are some questions that should be on the table.

1: Why’d your campaign say you didn’t store anything?

The Sanders campaign was able to access (and save) 24 different lists of proprietary Clinton campaign information, as seen in their NGPVAN activity logs. Here, for example, is a Sanders staffer searching for and saving a list of voters that the Clinton campaign identified as persuadable in Iowa.

Capture (1)

Let’s be clear about how the VAN system works: when you look at the log, “saving” means an attempt to store the data to your own account–and there are reports that there were preliminary attempts to export the data into excel sheets. They knew what they were doing. Which brings me to my next point.

2: Why’d your campaign claim it was an accident?

In an interview with Bloomberg yesterday, Tad Devine claimed this was all a “mistake.” A mistake?

NGPVAN’s audit found that Sanders staffers conducted 25 targeted searches of Clinton campaign data, just like the example above. Let me reiterate what this being a “mistake” would mean. Take a look at this pull out from the audit activity logs.

Capture

For this to be a “mistake,” the Sanders campaign would have had to  accidentally…

  • Searched for the voters we’ve identified as being unlikely to support Hillary Clinton in the South Carolina primary
  • Saved that list into their own account folder
  • Searched for the voters we’ve identified as supporters who are very likely to turn out to vote in the South Carolina primary
  • Saved that list into their own account folder
  • Searched for the voters we’ve identified as supporters who are unlikely to turn out to vote in the South Carolina primary

This is just a sample. They pulled 21 more lists. That seems hardly accidental to me.

3: Why did the Sanders campaign claim that only one staffer was involved in accessing Clinton campaign data?

Contrary to their claims, there were four staffers involved. In fact, from the audit logs provided by NGPVAN, the staffer they fired wasn’t even the person involved in accessing the most data.

4. Why did your campaign claim that the “one staffer” was junior level?

In initial reports, the Sanders campaign claimed that the “single staffer” involved in accessing Clinton campaign data was at the junior level. Tad Devine even went so far as to say that he’d never met the guy.

Josh Uretsky, the staffer who was fired, was the campaign’s most senior data strategist.

From his Linkedin page: Capture (2)

Our data director is involved in our strategic, day-to-day decision making. That’s a pretty broad interpretation of junior.

In conclusion…

To most voters, this will all seem pretty arcane. They care about raising wages for their family. They care about security for their family. They care about who’s going to keep them safe. They certainly don’t spend much time thinking about campaign data theft.

With that said, if Senator Sanders intends to make his campaign’s theft of our data a rallying point, he should have to answer these questions. His campaign took advantage of a security flaw to access and retain proprietary Clinton campaign information. We don’t know if they still have it. Those are all facts. No amount of misdirection changes those facts.

We look forward to tonight’s debate.

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