Sanders to DNC: Remove Clinton backers from convention committees

Story highlights

  • The platform committee is responsible for shaping the party's official policies
  • The Sanders campaign said Malloy and Frank cannot be trusted to perform their roles without bias

Washington (CNN)Bernie Sanders' campaign wants the Democratic National Committee to remove two Hillary Clinton supporters from key convention roles, accusing them of being "aggressive attack surrogates."

The campaign on Saturday announced that it had written the DNC and called for the removal of Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, who is the co-chairman of the platform committee, and former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who leads the rules committee. The platform committee is responsible for shaping the party's official policies on a range of issues heading into the 2016 election season, and the rules committee shapes how the convention operates.
"Governor Malloy and Mr. Frank have both been aggressive attack surrogates for the Clinton campaign," Sanders campaign counsel Brad Deutsch wrote in a letter to the party's Rules and Bylaws Committee. "Their criticisms of Sen. Sanders have gone beyond dispassionate ideological disagreement and have exposed a deeper professional, political and personal hostility toward the senator and his campaign."
    The Sanders campaign said Malloy and Frank cannot be trusted to perform their roles without bias.
    "The appointment of two individuals so outspokenly critical of Sen. Sanders, and so closely affiliated with Secretary Clinton's campaign, raises concerns that two of the three Convention Standing Committees are being constituted in an overtly partisan way designed to exclude meaningful input from supporters of Sen. Sanders' candidacy," Deutsch said.
    The DNC had no immediate comment Saturday morning, and Clinton's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    The Sanders campaign has discussed removing the leaders of the two key convention panels for some time, three Democrats with respective ties to Sanders, Clinton and President Barack Obama told CNN earlier in the week.
    Sanders and his supporters have complained for months that the Democratic Party has been tilted against his insurgent bid. They're worried that should he lose to Clinton, the issues that have animated his bid will not find a place at July's convention.
    Sanders' campaign also has engaged in an increasingly bitter feud with DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz during his presidential bid. Last week, he told CNN's Jake Tapper that he was supporting the Florida congresswoman's primary opponent, Tim Canova, and said if he was elected president, he would effectively terminate her chairmanship of the DNC.
    CORRECTION: This story has been updated after a Sanders press release mistakenly said Frank is on the platform committee, not the rules committee.