Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday she will resign as Democratic National Committee chairwoman amid yet another email scandal. The anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks released nearly 20,000 hacked emails exposing the corrupt establishment in the Democratic Party.
In a written statement, the controversial party leader said she was “privileged to serve as the DNC Chair for five and a half years.” The leaked emails, which come from the accounts of seven key figures in the DNC, show how the party worked for Hillary Clinton and actively against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 Democratic nomination contest.
“Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention,” she said in her statement, adding her first priority is serving the people of her Florida congressional district in addition to helping elect Hillary Clinton.
The political fallout over the leaked emails–which also show extensive media bias and corruption at Politico, the Washington Post and Business Insider–has been a stunning development just hours before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Sen. Sanders, who recently endorsed Mrs. Clinton, is on the record stating he would not have reappointed Wasserman Schultz. He ripped the DNC and Wasserman Schultz in interviews on the Sunday talk shows, demanding her resignation.
“I think [Wasserman Schultz] should resign. Period. And I think we need a new chair who is going the lead us in a very different direction,” Sanders told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
Sanders said “these emails reiterate that reason why she should not be chair.”
Schultz was given the position in exchange for Mrs. Clinton actively campaigning to unite the party and elect Barack Obama in 2008, but has since financially run the national committee into the ground. She recently askedthe Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to score a proposal that would redirect funds for children’s disease research to pay for the Democratic National Convention next week in Philadelphia [correction].
Still,both President Obama and Mrs. Clinton issued statements thanking Wasserman Schultz for her service as DNC chair.
“I am grateful to Debbie for getting the Democratic Party to this year’s historic convention in Philadelphia, and I know that this week’s events will be a success thanks to her hard work and leadership,” Mrs. Clinton said, adding that she will serve as “honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country” and as an attack surrogate.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2016
The report comes only hours after reports surfaced that the DNC chair was ousted in her role at the convention and a Democratic official told the PPD News Network that she had been “quarantined.” But Schultz now says she would still “open and close the convention” and address delegates “about the stakes involved in this election,” in her role as party chair.
She now will step down at the end of the convention.
Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile, another longtime Clinton ally, is expected to take over as interim chair during the rest of the general election campaign. While the party hopes the move will stop the political fallout and bleeding in the polls, the presumptive nominee has more and perhaps bigger problems. After Donald Trump framed the election as a choice between outsider change and the corrupt status quo, her vice presidential choice is under fire and being challenged by Sanders delegates.