Why the 2016 rigged Democratic primary isn’t going away

May 21, 2019 by Barbara With

In July 2016, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was caught rigging the Democratic primary in favor of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. On the eve of the Democratic National Convention, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and three other top DNC officials were forced to step down when Wikileaks emails confirmed that they had been lying for months.

Emails proved that throughout the primaries, decisions were made by DNC officials to help Clinton build and maintain a lead over Sanders, despite their continual denials, misleading the public, and in violation of their own charter:

The Chairperson shall exercise impartiality and evenhandedness as between the Presidential candidates and campaigns. The Chairperson shall be responsible for ensuring that the national officers and staff of the Democratic National Committee maintain impartiality and evenhandedness during the Democratic Party Presidential nominating process.

The rigging resulted in a devastating loss for the Democrats later that November, as Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States when millions of voters did a #demexit, refusing to support the Democratic party as the greater of the two evils.

Hillary Victory Fund Money Laundering

In an unprecedented deal revealed by Interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile in her book Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House, Clinton signed a joint financing agreement with the party early in 2015 which put her in charge of all aspects of DNC operations. The DNC then created the Hillary Victory Fund (HVF), based on agreements made with 33 state Democratic parties. Donors could give up to $356,100: the first $2,700 was to go to Clinton’s campaign, the next $33,400 would go to the DNC, and what remained—up to $10,000 per state—was to be equally divided between the 33 state parties who signed onto the agreement.

In reality, the state parties immediately gave their share back to the DNC, who then transferred it to the Hillary for America fund. According to Brazile, the states kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million amassed from the extravagant fundraisers Clinton’s campaign was holding. The plan was little more than money laundering. Sanders sent a complaint to Wasserman Schultz in April 2016:

“Bernie 2016 is particularly concerned that these extremely large-dollar individual contributions have been used by the Hillary Victory Fund to pay for more than $7.8 million in direct mail efforts and over $8.6 million in online advertising, both of which appear to benefit only HFA by generating low-dollar contributions that flow only to HFA, rather than to the DNC or any of the participating state party committees.”

In a statement Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook called the charges “baseless.”

“It is shameful that Senator Sanders has resorted to irresponsible and misleading attacks just to raise money for himself,” Mook said. “Instead of trying to convince the next generation of progressives that the Democratic Party is corrupt, Senator Sanders should stick to the issues and think about what he can do to help the Party he is seeking to lead.”

DNC Pushes Trump as a “Pied Piper” Candidate

Another email revealed that the DNC was planning to help elevate what they called “pied piper” GOP candidates—positioning whomever the GOP nominated as “unpalatable” to the electorate, thus “leading” them to Clinton. They also discuss how to elevate the extreme candidates, Donald Trump being one. In a chilling statement of the power the DNC has to control mainstream media, the last sentence instructs, “Tell the press to take them seriously,” and resulted in millions of dollars of free air time for Trump:

Correct the Record: Troll Farm for Clinton

Also at work during the 2016 primary was a super PAC called “Correct the Record,” run by David Brock, a former “Republican-turned-liberal” who organized a $10 million-dollar group of trolls to hack Sanders’ online media. Brock claimed they were policing the Internet to correct the false information published about Clinton. In reality, Brock’s trolls created fake social media accounts and pretended to be Bernie supporters, acting out with threats and violence to make it appear that “Bernie Bros” were unhinged:

“It is meant to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical,” said Brian Donahue, chief executive of the consulting firm Craft Media/Digital.

“That is what the Clinton campaign has always been about,” he said. “It runs the risk of being exactly what their opponents accuse them of being: a campaign that appears to be populist but is a smokescreen that is paid and brought to you by lifetime political operatives and high-level consultants.”

On April 25, the eve of five primary elections, Correct the Record systematically shut down several large Bernie Facebook pages by planting kiddie porn in them en masse. Brock had just announced launching Barrier Breakers, an online team of trolls to patrol the Sanders campaign.

Election Rigging in Action 

Suspicious outcomes of state caucuses, voters getting thrown off the voter rolls, registrations mysteriously switched from Democratic to independent, and other evidence of the rigging were widely reported throughout the primary season, before the leaked emails were published. In April 2016, reports of infiltration and sabotage of the Sanders campaigns by Clinton supporters led back to the Truman National Security Project, a Clinton “think tank” whose board is populated by a who’s who of the military industrial complex (MIC)—arms dealers, defense contractors, private security, venture capitalists, tech investors, multinational realtors, big pharma, and the lobbyists who connect them—the very people who profit from war and have the capacity to hack an election.

Website page from Truman National Security Project Boardmember Pierre Chao, co-founder of arms dealer lobbyist Renaissance Strategic Advisors.

Clinton was, after all, the architect of several U.S. regime changes, including interfering in Honduras elections, which resulted in the murder of Honduran environment activist Berta Cáceres and the destruction of the infrastructure of the country.

Clinton had the motive, means and the experience to overthrow this one as well.

Nevada, February 20, 2016

The site of a particularly blatant steal as pro-Hillary party leaders forgot to nominate the delegates, allowed people to caucus who were not registered, denied entry to over 50 legitimate Sanders delegates, and ignored the voice votes (eye witness account). The entire caucus devolved into chaos when Nevada Caucus Chairwoman Roberta Lange overruled another voice vote, slammed her gavel, and abruptly left the stage. Angry Sanders delegates, having been continually cheated throughout the caucus, shouted and booed, refusing to accept the outcome. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) incited more chaos by taunting the booing crowd with pro-Hillary rhetoric. To “calm” the disgruntled Sanders supporters, still angry and booing, the Party dimmed the lights and played random videos of Obama until the noise died down. When that did not stop the booing, the Party called in the Nevada State Patrol.

Nevada State Patrol guarding the pro-Hillary team at the 2016 Nevada Caucus.

Wasserman Schultz immediately went on mainstream media and repeatedly lied, without evidence, about Sanders delegates getting violent. Rachel Maddow also picked up the lies without any context or evidence of the chair throwing or other alleged threats. Before long it was being echoed around the world that Sanders delegates were “violent.”

The truth was that the caucus was being rigged against them, right before their eyes. When they could not get recognized or have their complaints remedied, they non-violently resisted, booing and shouting. No arrests were made, no fights broke out, no one was hurt, and there was no video showing any violence. But the DNC propaganda machines raged on.

2016 Democratic National Convention

By the time Wikileaks published the emails in July 2016 proving the rigging was real, Bernie delegates across the country were fed up with being silenced by the pro-Hillary party leaders and maligned by mainstream media. In preparation for the contentious convention in July, the DNC had thousands of “USA” signs printed. During the convention, they handed them out to Clinton delegates with the instruction that whenever they heard any Bernie chants, anti-war chants, or justice for Palestine chants, they were to stand up and yell, “USA! USA! USA!” and wave the signs.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, holding her USA sign

When Sanders stood up for Vermont, he shut down the voting by moving that Clinton be nominated by acclimation. That meant that Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin did not get to vote. At that point, Washington, Oregon and part of the California delegation walked out.

Wisconsin Sanders delegate Angie Aker denied her vote.

They were not allowed to join the thousands of people on the streets of Philadelphia outside the convention compound, but rather they were held in the media tent for over an hour while snipers on the roofs of nearby buildings pointed guns in their direction.

#Demexit and the loss to Trump

The millions of citizens who had pledged to #demexit, vowing never to vote for Clinton, made good on their promise. Despite all the propaganda, despite all the cheating, despite all the polls that said she was ahead, Clinton lost to Trump. She underestimated the lengths to which many people would go to make sure she would not be president, including risking a President Donald Trump. That’s how bad Hillary Clinton was.

In response, the Party amplified Russiagate—a theory presented without any evidence that Russia colluded with Trump to steal the election. Mainstream media broadcast the conspiracy theory as if it were true and party loyalists took up the cry. It was easier to believe Russia hacked the election, without any evidence, than accept what they had just been shown proof of by Wikileaks: that their leaders were so corrupt that they inspired millions of people to boycott them, resulting in President Trump. Anyone who challenged them were called “Putin puppets” and shamed as being supporters of a racist and white supremacy.

American Red and Blue Corporate Fascism

When corporations collude with politicians to pass laws for the benefit of the wealthy few, despite what the people want, at the expense of the common good, it’s called corporate fascism. Fascism itself is not a political party, but a behavior—greed that causes a person to lie, cheat and steal in order to gain and keep power. Corporate fascism is a network of global corporations who have stolen our government through corrupt politicians. Journalist Chris Hedges explains the difference between the blue fascism of Democrats and and red fascism of Republicans:

It’s how you want corporate fascism delivered to you. Do you want it delivered by a Princeton-educated, Goldman Sachs criminal, or do you want it delivered by racist, nativist, Christian fascist? The fundamental engines of oligarchic global corporate power are advanced by both parties. One attempts to present that in a kind of multicultural, inclusive way; the other is embraced by troglodytes.

The Democrats’ assault on civil liberties under Barack Obama were worse than under George W. Bush. The expansion of drone warfare was all under the Obama Administration. The reinterpretation of the 2002 Authorization to Use Military Force Act was interpreted by the Obama White House to give them the right to assassinate American citizens. It’s that old book, written 30 years ago, you know, “friendly fascism.” It’s how you want it served up.

We’ve personalized the problem in Trump without realizing that Trump is the product of a failed democracy. Trump is what rises up from the bowels of a decayed and degenerate system. You can get rid of Trump, but you’re not going to get rid of what the sociologist Émile Durkheim called that anomie that propels societies to engage in deeply self-destructive behavior.

Lawsuit Filed by Sanders Supporters

A class-action lawsuit was filed in Florida in June 2016 by Sanders supporters who claimed they were defrauded by the DNC. Based on the DNC’s claims that they were impartial, the Sanders supporters assumed that their donations to the DNC were also supporting Sanders. Instead, everything went to Clinton. The judge dismissed the suit, but ruled that the DNC did indeed rig the primary:

“The court thus assumes that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz preferred Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president over Bernie Sanders or any other Democratic candidate. It assumes that they stockpiled information useful to the Clinton campaign. It assumes that they devoted their resources to assist Clinton in securing the party’s nomination and opposing other Democratic candidates. And it assumes that they engaged in these surreptitious acts while publicly proclaiming they were completely neutral, fair and impartial,” the final order read.

The DNC was proven to have rigged the 2016 primary, but because they are a private corporation, they are immune to having to follow their own rules and can reallocate their money any way they wish.

Jared Beck, attorney for the Sanders supporters said, “What essentially the DNC has now stated in a court of law is that it believes that there is no enforceable obligation to run the primary elections of this country’s democracy in a fair and impartial manner.”

The irony of the win was that they outed themselves as the fascists that they really are.

Arms Dealers and Election Stealers

Julian Assange, co-founder of Wikileaks, proved that the DNC lied to their party members, hoping they would overlook what was being served up by the Yale-educated fascist: The Clinton Foundation, a global philanthropic military industrial complex—the war machine posing as a charitable foundation. Much the same way the Truman National Security Project “promotes democracy,” Clinton Foundation “donors” include foreign governments that the U.S. sells arms to and the arms dealers who sell them, blue-chip corporations and Wall Street elites, military contractors, and oil, gas and mining companies to name a few. Mainstream media are also large contributors.

Demexit did what it was designed to do: prevent the Clinton cabal of for-profit war makers and their billions of dollars in arms sales and oil money from gaining any more control of the White House than it already had with Obama. Obama and Clinton’s escalation of war around the world were horrifying abuses of human rights. He expanded war powers and the surveillance state into epic proportions. Because of her known network, she was justly perceived as the greater of the two evils. Trump had no such unified war machine network.

But given what the American public was forced to pick from, what was anyone in the U.S. really to do?

2020: The rig is on

When the DNC was caught cheating, there were no real consequences other than Wasserman Schultz and a few others stepping down. DWS was immediately re-assimilated back into the Clinton campaign and the focus was quickly moved to the Russians. Party members were expected to pick up where they left off, as if nothing had happened—the lying, the money laundering, the election rigging, the troll farm, the press bias that the DNC orchestrated to omit Sanders from the nightly news and elevate Trump.

One of the “concessions” the DNC bragged about in the media was how it allegedly reduced the power of the superdelegates. SDs were not eliminated, however; they vote in the second round if there is no clear winner in the first. Thus, 21 mostly-corporate Democratic candidates have already declared, intending to dilute the voting power of the people, thereby kicking the decision back to the SDs. Polls are already being manipulated in the same way they were in 2016, when Nate Silver’s propaganda the day before her loss declared she was ahead at 71%. Candidates are also required to sign a “loyalty oath”:

It grants a single individual, the DNC chair, sole discretion to strike anti-establishment candidates from the ballot if the chair determines that the candidate’s record of “public writings and/or public statements” do not “affirmatively demonstrate that they are faithful to the interests, welfare and success of the Democratic Party of the United States.”

Many have given the Democratic party leaders a pass. Because of that, the DNC has no need to follow the rule of law. They’ve proven they can and will steal elections and won’t suffer any consequences for it. Cries of “vote blue no matter who” and propaganda-driven, fear-mongering red baiting will keep millions of well-meaning people inadvertently propping up blue fascism.

No Collusion

April 2019: After more than two years of investigation, the Mueller Report concluded that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia to sway US elections:

“The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities. The investigation did not identify evidence that any US persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRAs inference operation.”

It has all been a diversion perpetrated by the MIC, Clinton, the DNC, and mainstream media who were caught in the act of colluding to and actually succeeding at stealing a U.S. election. Russiagate was their front. In the end, that failed, too. Much because of Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

Now the DNC is suing Wikileaks for their “alleged involvement in the theft and dissemination of DNC computer files during the 2016 election.” In truth, the DNC are the ones who got caught stealing an election and did not allow the FBI to examine their servers. The lawsuit has been called the “greatest threat to press freedom today”:

“The notion that journalistic activity such as cultivating sources and receiving illegally obtained documents could be construed as part of a criminal conspiracy will inhibit reporters’ ability to get whistleblower information, because as soon as you talk to them in any aggressive fashion you could be guilty of a crime,” Goodale said.

When the DNC went on the offensive to claim Assange hacked their servers with the help of the Russian government for the express purpose of stealing the election, they set the stage for his extradition to the U.S. to be tried as a spy. Recently Ecuador received funds from the IMF shortly after they discontinued his protection at the Ecuador embassy in London. He was illegally arrested and is being held in London in solitary confinement, waiting to see if the U.K. will send him back to the U.S. to face charges.

Julian Assange being illegally arrested in London. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA

If found guilty, he could be sentenced to death: exactly what Hillary Clinton and her global cabal wants.

Unless US citizens get their focus off Russia and onto the real election stealing happening at home, we will keep in place a compromised voting system that both corporate parties will continue to take advantage of. We must find a way to educate ourselves on what U.S. fascism is and how not to inadvertently support it, break through the two-party corporate rule, and make sure that “unity” will not become a one-party military industrial complex taking us further down the slippery slope of becoming a totalitarian state.



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6 Comments on “Why the 2016 rigged Democratic primary isn’t going away”

  1. sherry berg May 22, 2019 at 9:42 pm #

    just wow. and thank you.

  2. William Bottrell May 23, 2019 at 1:25 am #

    Thank you Barbara With. Well told. Undeniable, we were there, and we are still there now.

  3. artemis133 (@artemis133) May 23, 2019 at 8:22 pm #

    What an amazing article; well written. Thank you!

  4. dkmich May 24, 2019 at 10:26 am #

    Thank you for such a thorough recounting of why there will be no party unity. I voted Green in Michigan 2016, and I’m prepared to do it again in 2020.

    Cross posted this article to our blog, caucus99percent, and our FB page. Independent, honest reporting is so hard to find.

    • Barbara With May 24, 2019 at 10:52 am #

      Thank you so much for reposting this. I think education is so important. Now that people are over the 2016 election and on to other things, I think it might be easier to look back and see the truth. I hope anyway!

  5. Barbara MIsicko October 26, 2022 at 12:58 pm #

    Thank you Barba, it is nice to know that we do have some honest journalists.

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