Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee signed a memorandum of understanding in August 2015 that stated in return for their financial support, the campaign would require “appropriate influence over the financial, strategic and operational use of these (Joint Fundraising Agreement) raised funds” for general election expenditures, according to a copy of the agreement obtained by CNN.
The agreement established rules and guidance around the separate joint fundraising agreement Clinton’s campaign signed with the DNC. It was sent to Amy Dacey, the then-CEO of the DNC, from Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, on August 26, 2015.
The document provides context to a bombshell book excerpt published earlier this week by interim DNC chair Donna Brazile, which alleges that an unethical agreement was signed between Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the DNC to keep the party financially afloat. The memorandum of understanding appears to match the document described by Brazile.
According to a copy obtained by CNN, the document does not give the Clinton campaign outright authority to make staffing decisions for the DNC, but it does give the Clinton campaign a say in who the DNC considers for positions like communications director and senior staff in communications and technology and research departments.
NBC first reported on the memorandum of understanding.
The allegations from Brazile have ripped the scabs off wounds that plagued the Democratic Party during last year’s primary and backed up some of the claims Sanders and his supporters made during the 2016 primary.
Initially, Democrats believed that Brazile was referencing the joint fundraising agreements signed by both Clinton and Sanders campaigns in 2015.
But a senior Democrat with knowledge of the situation tells CNN that Brazile was referring to a separate agreement with the DNC that gave the campaign considerable control of the party.
The agreement outlined that Clinton campaign personnel “will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decision over the staffing, budget, expenditures and general election related communications, data, technology, analytics and research. The DNC will provide HFA (Hillary for America) advance opportunity to review online or mass email, communications that features a particular Democratic primary candidate.”
The agreement also specified that the Clinton campaign would have no role in communication around “primary debates – which will be exclusively controlled by the DNC.”
“All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary,” the document reads. “Further we understand you may enter into similar agreements with other candidates.”
Both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns signed agreements that allowed the presidential candidates to raise money for the DNC.
The agreements came at a time when the Democratic committee was perilously close to the end of its financial rope. President Barack Obama had long neglected the DNC, leaving the body millions in debt and taking on more credit. So when Wasserman Schultz approached the campaigns around Labor Day of 2015, the DNC needed the joint fundraising agreements to stay operational and out of more debt.