Three top staffers are leaving the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in a staff shakeup spurred by the leak of damaging emails about the primary battle between Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Nation mourns Colin Powell The Memo: Powell ended up on losing side of GOP fight Powell death leads to bipartisan outpouring of grief MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersManchin meets with Sanders, Jayapal amid spending stalemate America can end poverty among its elderly citizens Senate GOP signals they'll help bail out Biden's Fed chair MORE.
The CEO of the DNC, Amy Dacey, is departing, as are communications director Luis Miranda and chief financial officer Brad Marshall, the DNC announced in a statement.
Donna Brazile, who is taking the reins of the DNC following the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz (R-Fla.) as chairwoman, made no mention of the email scandal in her statement, mostly thanking the departing staffers for their service.
“Thanks in part to the hard work of Amy, Luis, and Brad, the Democratic Party has adopted the most progressive platform in history, has put itself in financial position to win in November, and has begun the important work of investing in state party partnerships,” Brazile said in a statement.
“I’m so grateful for their commitment to this cause, and I wish them continued success in the next chapter of their career.”
But it’s clear that the DNC is trying to turn the page from the disastrous leak of nearly 20,000 stolen emails, which appeared to show officials at the committee plotting against Sanders's presidential campaign.
Those messages, published by WikiLeaks just days before the Democratic convention, caused a political firestorm.
Sanders supporters had long accused the DNC of tilting the primary process in favor of Clinton, including with the debate schedule, and the email messages appeared to confirm their suspicions.
In one email, Marshall appeared to write about a plan to use Sanders’s religion against him at a campaign event in Kentucky or West Virginia. Dacey wrote “AMEN” in response.
The controversy threatened to drown out the unity message Democrats were hoping to deliver at their convention. Supporters of Sanders called for heads to roll at the committee.
“They need to clean house,” Nina Turner, a top spokeswoman for Sanders, told The Hill.
The controversy only ebbed after Wasserman Schultz announced she would resign as DNC chairwoman and not appear onstage during the party summit in Philadelphia.
It’s fallen to Brazile, a prominent television commentator, to pick up the pieces as the Democratic Party enters the general election battle against Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE.
She announced Tuesday that Tom McMahon will lead a transition team to help prepare the party for November and that Brandon Davis, who already serves as chief of staff, will continue in that capacity.
She also announced that Doug Thornell, a Democratic strategist who works at the consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker, would be joining the DNC on an interim basis as senior adviser.
“This election is the most important of my lifetime, and the DNC will continue to recruit top talent to help lead the fight to elect Hillary Clinton and Democrats across the country,” Brazile said.
“I am committed to adding to our team of skilled professionals who will make sure that Donald Trump is held accountable for his reckless rhetoric and harmful policies.”
Republicans have sought to capitalize on the controversy at the DNC, with Trump seeking to court disaffected supporters of Sanders.
- Updated at 4:24 p.m.