Sanders suspended from DNC data after improper access of Clinton info
© Greg Nash

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is reportedly suspending access to its voter database for the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  Why does Bernie Sanders want to quash Elon Musk's dreams? Congress can protect sacred Oak Flat in Arizona from mining project MORE (I-Vt.) after at least one staffer accessed confidential information compiled by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhy does Bernie Sanders want to quash Elon Musk's dreams? Republican legislators target private sector election grants How Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 MORE.

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The Washington Post, which first reported the incident late Thursday, says the staffer has been fired from the Vermont senator’s team.

Sanders's team blamed the incident on a firewall software error Wednesday that allowed its data director to view voter information that was supposed to be private for their rival campaign. The data system vendor, NGP VAN, alerted the DNC to the issue that same day.

"That behavior is unacceptable and that staffer was fired immediately," Sanders's spokesman Michael Briggs told CNN.

The DNC says access for Sanders will remain suspended until it provides an explanation for how the incident occurred and assurances that the data has been destroyed.

The suspension is a potentially major setback for Sanders as he looks to cut into the former secretary of State’s sizable lead with the Iowa caucuses less than two months away.

As of 10:15 a.m., a petition from progressive group MoveOn.org to "give the voter file back" to Team Sanders had more than 50,000 signatures.

A Democratic spokesman says the committee is working “to ensure that this isolated incident doesn’t happen again."