By Lisa Hagen and Ben Kamisar
Sen. Bernie Sanders’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign filed a lawsuit Friday evening in federal court against the Democratic National Committee, following the suspension of his campaign from the DNC’s voter database.
Earlier in the day, campaign manager Jeff Weaver threatened that it would take the DNC to federal court if the national party committee didn’t lift the suspension.
The lawsuit comes hours after the DNC barred the Sanders campaign from accessing the party’s voter file, as well as his campaign’s own data, after a breach by a campaign staffer obtaining private data from the campaign of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.
The Sanders campaign said it has fired that staffer.
The 12-page lawsuit filed with the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia claims that the loss of access to the voter file amounts to “damage and financial losses … that are incapable of precise calculation, but exceed $600,000.00 per day.” It argues that the “loss of DNC support could significantly disadvantage, if not cripple, a Democratic candidate’s campaign for public office.”
It notes that a fundraising drive between Dec. 14 and Dec. 16 raised $2.4 million for the campaign from donors mostly from “the strategic use of Voter Data.”
The suit asks for “immediate restoration” of the campaign’s access to the voter data system, damages “presently known to exceed $75,000.00” and whatever else “the Court deems just and proper.”
Sanders’s team only had hours to prepare the lawsuit, shown in some typographical errors present in the court filing.