The head of the Democratic National Committee will not speak at the party’s convention this week, after hacked emails revealed that she and other top officials conspired against presidential primary candidate Bernard Sanders.
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is expected to gavel the convention in and out of session but will forgo a speaking slot “to keep the peace” with Mr. Sanders’ supporters, one Democrat familiar with the situation told CNN.
“She’s been quarantined,” another top Democrat told CNN after a meeting Saturday night.
Ms. Wasserman Schultz was accused of giving Hillary Clinton favorable treatment throughout the Democratic presidential primary race.
Nearly 20,000 hacked emails released by WikiLeaks last week seem to confirm that notion, showing Ms. Wasserman Schultz and other top party officials plotted ways to undermine Mr. Sanders’ campaign.
One suggestion, from DNC Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall, suggested playing up Mr. Sanders’ religious beliefs.
“This could make several points difference with my peeps,” Mr. Marshall wrote. “My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
Another missive showed Ms. Wasserman Schultz calling Mr. Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver a “damn liar” after he criticized the Nevada Democratic Party’s handling of its caucuses.
“Damn liar,” she wrote. “Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and threatening behavior that occurred.”
After Mr. Weaver suggested that the Sanders campaign would take its fight to the convention, Ms. Wasserman Schultz wrote in an email, “He is an ASS.”
Mr. Sanders on Sunday reiterated his demand that Ms. Wasserman Schultz be removed as head of the party.
“I’m not quite shocked by this, and that is why many, many months ago, I made it clear that Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign, should step down,” Mr. Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The Clinton campaign, meanwhile, was mum on whether Ms. Wasserman Schultz should be deposed.
Joel Benenson, chief strategist for the Clinton campaign, said on “Fox News Sunday” that the Democratic primaries “were fair” despite suggestions of bias in the emails.
He questioned the party’s ability to influence the primary race, saying it was “largely fought on the ground with voters” rather than among party elites.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook refused to answer questions from CNN’s Jake Tapper about whether somebody from the DNC should be punished for revelations in the emails.
“As I said, the DNC needs to take appropriate steps, and I’m confident that they will,” Mr. Mook said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I’m really proud of the primary that we ran.”
That lack of response drew a harsh rebuke from Mr. Tapper, who said Mr. Mook was “still not answering the question about what ‘appropriate action’ would be.”
After futilely pressing the issue once more, Mr. Tapper dryly noted, “Obviously, you’re not going to answer the question about specifics.”