Three top Democratic National Committee (DNC) officials have stepped down in the wake of the email scandal that has already forced the ouster of DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
CEO Amy Dacey, communications director Luis Miranda, and chief financial officer (CFO) Brad Marshall all resigned on Tuesday after facing scrutiny for emails that critics say showed favoritism toward Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the presidential primaries. Marshall was particularly criticized for suggesting questioning Sanders’ religion to sow dislike of him among the public.
Interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile apologized on Tuesday for what she called “insensitive and inappropriate emails.”
Dacey’s departure now raises question of how the committee’s day-to-day operations will run between now and the election. Several senior Democrats have expressed doubts about who might want to take on an assignment that is heavy on the potential downside and short on the potential upside, despite the many functions the DNC would be expected to perform over the final three months of the 2016 campaign.
However, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is deep into its takeover of the committee, having moved the entire research department to its Brooklyn headquarters last month and consolidating all rapid response responsibilities in New York as well.
According to Politico, staffers on Capitol Hill are expecting even more firings or resignations as the fallout from the hack continues.
WikiLeaks this month released more than 20,000 emails from DNC staff that showed the committee undermining Sanders’ campaign and strategizing media spin to ward off questions about Clinton’s controversial fundraising tactics.
In one particularly contentious email, Marshall seemed to suggest casting doubts about Sanders’ faith and painting him as an atheist to hurt his chances in rural states. “It might [make] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief,” the email read. “Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. … My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
Marshall told The Intercept in July that he did not recall that email and said, “it would not have been Sanders. It would probably be about a surrogate.”
In another instance, Miranda emailed Wasserman Schultz with a proposed statement in response to Sanders’ endorsement of her rival Tim Canova, writing, “Debbie …please approve…team thinks this is the right approach…’High Road.’”