COCKRUM et al v. DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT, INC. et al
MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction by DONALD J. TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT, INC. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Ex. 1 - May 5, 2016 email, # 2 Exhibit Ex. 2 - May 21, 2016 email, # 3 Exhibit Ex. 3 - Washington Post article, # 4 Exhibit Ex. 4 - April 24, 2016 email, # 5 Exhibit Ex. 5 - New York Times article, # 6 Exhibit Ex. 6 - Huffington Post article, # 7 Exhibit Ex. 7 - April 28, 2016 email, # 8 Exhibit Ex. 8 - May 22, 2016 email, # 9 Exhibit Ex. 9 - May 6, 2016 email, # 10 Exhibit Ex. 10 - April 25, 2016 email, # 11 Exhibit Ex. 11 - May 24, 2016 email, # 12 Exhibit Ex. 12 - May 10, 2016 email, # 13 Exhibit Ex. 13 - May 17, 2016 email, # 14 Text of Proposed Order)(Carvin, Michael)
Cockrum v. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
Here are the latest, most
damaging things in the DNC’s
By Aaron Blake July 25, 2016
This post has been updated.
Thousands of leaked emails have sealed the fate of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's uneven fiveplusyear tenure as DNC
Wasserman Schultz's resignation announcement Sunday afternoon comes as a bad situation just keeps getting worse and
appears as though it might continue to do so. That's because WikiLeaks has so far released nearly 20,000 emails, new details
are still being discovered, and there is still the prospect of additional, damaging emails coming to light.
Many of the most damaging emails suggest the committee was actively trying to undermine Bernie Sanders's presidential
campaign. Basically all of these examples came late in the primary after Hillary Clinton was clearly headed for victory but
they belie the national party committee's stated neutrality in the race even at that late stage.
Below is a running list of the most troublesome findings for Wasserman Schultz and her party. As new revelations come out,
we'll update it.
1) Targeting Sanders's religion?
On May 5, DNC officials appeared to conspire to raise Sanders's faith as an issue and press on whether he was an atheist
apparently in hopes of steering religious voters in Kentucky and West Virginia to Clinton. Sanders is Jewish but has previously
indicated that he's not religious.
One email from DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall read: “It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get
someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an
atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference
between a Jew and an atheist."
Marshall added in a later email: “It’s these Jesus thing.”
In response, CEO Amy Dacey said: "Amen."
2) Wasserman Schultz calls top Sanders aide a "damn liar"...
On May 17, after controversy erupted over the Nevada state Democratic convention and how fair the process was there,
Wasserman Schultz herself took exception to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver's defense of his candidate's supporters.
"Damn liar," she wrote. "Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and threatening behavior that occurred."
3) ... and says Sanders has "no understanding" of the party
That wasn't the only time Wasserman Schultz offered an unvarnished opinion about the Sanders operation. And in one late
April email, she even questioned Sanders's connection to the party.
"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," she
said in response to a Politico story about Sanders saying the party hadn't been fair to him.
Sanders, for what it's worth, wasn't a Democrat before entering the Democratic primary. He caucused with the party but has
long been an independent.
In that way, Wasserman Schultz's comments could be read simply as her defending her party; Sanders was attacking the party,
after all. But her comment also suggests a particularly dim view of Sanders that she didn't feel the need to obscure in
conversations with other DNC staff.
4) A Clinton lawyer gives DNC strategy advice on Sanders
When the Sanders campaign alleged that the Clinton campaign was improperly using its joint fundraising committee with the
DNC to benefit itself, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias offered the DNC guidance on how to respond.
"My suggestion is that the DNC put out a statement saying that the accusations the Sanders campaign are not true," Elias said
May 3 in response to an email about the issue sent by communications director Luis Miranda to other DNC stuff that copied
Elias and another lawyer at his firm, Perkins Coie.
Elias continued: "The fact that CNN notes that you aren’t getting between the two campaigns is the problem. Here, Sanders is
attacking the DNC and its current practice, its past practice with the POTUS and with Sec Kerry. Just as the RNC pushes back
directly on Trump over 'rigged system', the DNC should push back DIRECTLY at Sanders and say that what he is saying is false
and harmful the the Democratic party."
Elias's guidance isn't perhaps all that shocking; he's Clinton's lawyer, after all. But the fact that he was talking to the DNC about
how to respond would appear to suggest coordination between the DNC and Clinton campaign against Sanders in this
5) Plotting a narrative about how Sanders's campaign failed
On May 21, DNC national press secretary Mark Pautenbach suggested pushing a narrative that Sanders "never ever had his act
together, that his campaign was a mess."
After detailing several arguments that could be made to push that narrative, Paustenbach concludes: "It's not a DNC
conspiracy, it's because they never had their act together."
Paustenbach's suggestion, in that way, could be read as a defense of the committee rather than pushing negative information
about Sanders. But this is still the committee pushing negative information about one of its candidates.
6) Mocking Sanders for his California debate push
One of the chief complaints from Sanders and his supporters was a lack of debates. They said the fact that there were so few
was intended to help Clinton by reducing her opponents' exposure and their chances to knock her down.
After the Sanders campaign presumptuously declared that an agreement for an additional debate in California had been
reached, Miranda responded to the Sanders campaign's release on May 18 simply:
As noted, the release from the Sanders campaign was presumptuous in declaring that an agreement had been reached. Miranda
could simply have been responding to the somewhatsilly tactic. But the debate never actually happened, as the Clinton
campaign later opted not to participate.
7) Wishing Sanders would just end it
Many of these emails came as it was clear Clinton was going to win which makes the apparent favoritism perhaps less
offensive (though Sanders supporters would certainly disagree).
But it's also clear that there was plenty of cheerleading for the race to simply be over for Sanders to throw in the towel so
that Clinton could be named the presumptive nominee. The party, of course, was still supposed to be neutral even though the
odds and delegate deficit for Sanders looked insurmountable.
On May 1, in response to Sanders again saying he would push for a contested convention, Wasserman Schultz said, "So much
for a traditional presumptive nominee."
8) Calling an alleged Sanders sympathizer a "Bernie bro"
The term "Bernie bro" or "Berniebro," depending on your style over the course of the campaign became a kind of
shorthand for the worst kind of Sanders supporter. These were the supporters who couldn't be reasoned with and verbally
assaulted opponents, sometimes in very nasty ways.
Some in the DNC apparently used the pejorative to refer to one particular radio host seen as overly sympathetic to Sanders,
Sirius XM's Mark Thompson.
"Wait, this is a s––– topic," Miranda wrote on May 4 after Thompson's program director, David Guggenheim, requested an
interview on a Clinton fundraising controversy. "Where is Guggenheim? Is he a Bernie Bro?"
"Must be a Bernie Bro," DNC broadcast booker Pablo Manriquez responds. "Per Mark’s sage, I turned him down flat (and
politely) and inquired into opportunities next week to talk about something else.
9) Criticizing Obama for lack of fundraising help "That's fing stupid"
While the Sanders emails have gained the most attention, some of the more interesting emails involve a peek behind to curtain
of how party officials talk about fundraising and major donors and even President Obama.
In one email on May 9, DNC midAtlantic and PAC finance director Alexandra Shapiro noted that Obama wouldn't travel 20
minutes to help the party secure $350,000 in donations.
"He really won’t go up 20 minutes for $350k?" Shapiro wrote. "THAT’S fing stupid."
DNC national finance director Jordan Kaplan responded: "or he is the president of the united states with a pretty big day job."
10) Flippant chatter about donors
In a May 16 exchange about where to seat a top Florida donor, Kaplan declared that "he doesn’t sit next to POTUS!"
referring to Obama.
“Bittel will be sitting in the shiest corner I can find,” responded Shapiro. She also referred to other donors as "clowns."
Here are some other things Kaplan and Shapiro said about donors, via Karen Tumulty and Tom Hamburger:
Kaplan directed Shapiro to put New York philanthropist Philip Munger in the prime spot, switching out
Maryland ophthalmologist Sreedhar Potarazu. He noted that Munger was one of the largest donors to
Organizing for America, a nonprofit that advocates for Obama’s policies. “It would be nice to take care of
him from the DNC side,” Kaplan wrote.
Shapiro pushed back, noting that Munger had given only $100,600 to the party, while the Potarazu family
had contributed $332,250.
In one email attachment from Erik Stowe, the finance director for Northern California, to Tammy Paster, a
fundraising consultant, he lists the benefits given to different tiers of donors to the Democratic National
Convention, which starts next week in Philadelphia. The tiers range from a direct donation of $66,800 to
one of $467,600 to the DNC. The documents also show party officials discussing how to reward people who
bundle between $250,000 to $1.25 million.
Correction: This post initially referred to Guggenheim as the host of a Sirius XM show. He is program director for Sirius XM
host Mark Thompson.
Aaron Blake is senior political reporter for The Fix. Follow @aaronblake
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