Meanwhile, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton's campaign -- whose data was the target of the breach -- said Sanders' campaign workers went "hog wild" in accessing and downloading sensitive material.
The dramatic charges and counter-charges flew during a lively interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" shortly after Sanders filed a lawsuit against the DNC to restore the campaign's access to the data. The DNC cut off Sanders from the database and said the Vermont senator's presidential campaign exploited a software error to improperly access confidential voter information collected by Clinton's team.
"The failings of one or three or four young people who have made misjudgments in a campaign is not cause for them to issue a death penalty on the Sanders campaign," Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told Blitzer.
He called the DNC's decision "unprecedented."
"The DNC has taken away our access to our data," Weaver said. "This is data collected by Sanders, volunteers and staffers about voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and other places. We cannot run this campaign without this data. They are attempting to cripple our campaign and we're not going to stand for it."
Weaver also accused the DNC of holding debates on Saturdays to "bury" them in an effort to protect Clinton's advantage in the Democratic field.
Midway through the interview, Blitzer took a call from Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton's campaign, who called the Sanders campaign's moves "an act of theft."
Earlier Friday, Fallon and campaign manager Robby Mook told reporters in a conference call that the breach contrasts with the "different kind of campaign" that Sanders had pledged to run.
On CNN, Fallon said, "(Sanders) said he wasn't going to run negative ads. Now he's got his field organizers and data analysts stealing in an act of theft, stealing from the Clinton campaign."
"They were like kids in a candy store," Fallon added. "They had about 40 minutes where they ran wild. They went hog wild downloading as much data (as they could) in about 25 minutes."
Fallon added: "I really view this lawsuit as a distraction, and actually as an outright act of chutzpah."
Asked what Clinton would like Sanders to do, Fallon encouraged him to "Come clean. Admit wrongdoing. Let's move on."