After an independent investigation into the data breach before the Iowa caucuses concluded that the Sanders campaign told the truth, Bernie Sanders has withdrawn his lawsuit against the DNC.
In a statement, the Sanders campaign said:
An independent investigation of the firewall failures in the DNC’s shared voter file database has definitively confirmed that the original claims by the DNC and the Clinton campaign were wholly inaccurate – the Sanders campaign never “stole” any voter file data; the Sanders campaign never “exported” any unauthorized voter file data; and the Sanders campaign certainly never had access to the Clinton campaign’s “strategic road map.”
In fact, the independent investigation has confirmed what the Sanders campaign said from the start:
The DNC’s security failures allowed four Sanders campaign staffers – three junior-level staffers led by a manager who had been hired at the recommendation of the DNC and who was immediately terminated after the incident – to have extremely short-lived access for one hour to Hillary for America’s scoring models, but not to any of Hillary for America’s proprietary voter data.
No one else in the Sanders campaign, outside these four staffers, accessed the Hillary for America’s scoring models or had knowledge that the activity was taking place until well after the incident was over.
With one exception, all unauthorized access took place within the DNC’s own system. While there is evidence that the terminated staffer may have exported a summary data table, the independent investigation of Sanders campaign computers could not locate that file and no one in the Sanders campaign has ever seen that file.
With the investigation behind us, the campaign has withdrawn its lawsuit against the DNC today but continues to implore the DNC to address the systemic instability that remains in its voter file system.
DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda said in a statement that the analysis confirmed the DNC’s initial findings, “The forensic analysis conducted by the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike confirmed that the DNC’s initial findings, which were the basis of the temporary shutdown in December, were accurate. The audit confirmed that one campaign gained unauthorized access to the data of another, and the audit further confirmed that the results of those searches were saved within the system and that data was exported. Following the conclusion of the audit that confirmed the DNC’s original findings, the Sanders campaign withdrew its lawsuit.”
There are two important points. First, the DNC needs to do a better job of securing its voter files. Secondly, the Sanders withdrawal of his lawsuit is another step forward in unifying the Democratic Party.
The independent investigation found that Sanders didn’t steal any data, had no access to the Clinton campaign’s strategy or data, and did nothing wrong.
With the investigation concluded and the lawsuit withdrawn, it’s time for Democrats to get down to the business of defeating Republicans and taking back Congress.