From the official transcripts of the DNC lawsuit
I read through it all and thought I’d post some of the more interesting parts.
The DNC lawyers (hereafter referred to simply as The DNC.) try to argue that the court has no right to judge how they enforce internal rules.
You’re talking about the DNC’s charter
Yes, their bylaws, which is where this
purported obligation arises to remain neutral as between the
Article V, Section 4.
The DNC says their duty to conduct a free and fair election is a “purported obligation”.
The plaintiffs lawyers (hereafter referred to as The American People) shoot that argument down completely:
in Madigan vs. Illinois, a 2006
opinion from the Supreme Court, the Court held:
“Consistent with our precedent and the First
Amendment, states may maintain fraud actions when
fundraisers make false or misleading representations
designed to deceive donors about how their donations
This is not a case about enforcing political promises.
They want you to think that, I believe, because they want to
paint this case in a line of cases that have been filed
throughout the years where candidates may make political
promises, and then disappointed voters bring lawsuits to
enforce those promises or seek damages in one form or another.
But that’s not what this case is about. We’re not talking
about campaign rhetoric. We’re not talking about a campaign
platform of any kind.
What we’re talking about here is the very core of what
our democracy runs on, the very basis for our democracy, which
is the conduct of free and fair elections. That’s the basis,
that’s the bedrock on which the claims of this case take off,
because the election — the elections — as American history
has developed, the conduct of those elections, for better or
worse, has come under the domain of the two major political
parties in this country.
And then The American People address the real reason the Democrats want you to get all riled up about Russian intervention and take your eyes off of the Real Ball:
I just think the context of when this complaint was
drafted is important. We drafted this complaint and filed it
in June of 2016, which was before the DNC primary — or the DNC
convention occurred in July. And, at the time, the evidence
that we had access to consisted of this set of documents that
your Honor referenced in your prefatory remarks that were
released by a figure named Guccifer 2.0.
And the core document that was released by that
individual on that website purports to be an internal DNC
memorandum, which outlines a strategy for advancing Hillary
Clinton to the nomination of the Democratic Party before the
primaries had even really gotten off the ground. And this was
at a time — you know, Bernie Sanders I believe had announced
for about a month before this particular memo came out. But we
think that’s clear evidence of what the DNC’s intent was
throughout the primary process. It was to leverage their
connections with the media in order to advance Hillary
Clinton’s candidacy at the expense of everybody else.
These additional leaks have shown that DNC officials
participated in creating and disseminating media narratives to
undermine Bernie Sanders and advance Hillary Clinton.
It shows former DNC Chair Donna Brazile giving debate
questions in advance to Hillary Clinton during the primaries.
It shows the DNC at one point changing its donor
policies specifically to favor Hillary Clinton.
It shows the scheduling of debates to favor Hillary
Clinton over Bernie Sanders.
It shows, in general, the DNC pouring its considerable
resources and relationships into propelling Hillary Clinton to
And then the judge makes The DNC look like unprepared idiots:
Does the DNC help to fund the state
Uhm, you mean literally, the mechanics of
the primaries, your Honor, the actual holding of the election,
the primary election?
Does the DNC, with the money that it
raises, use some of that money to help fund the states put on
their individual state primaries?
I don’t believe so, your Honor. No.
But you don’t know.
And then The DNC alleges it has the inherent right to fix elections:
The party could have favored a candidate. Even if it were true, that’s the business
of the party, and it’s not justiciable.
All right. Thank you, Counsel.
Thank you. And I’m happy to answer —
Oh, no, I’ve got more questions.
And then the judge hands it over to The American People to slam dunk The DNC:
What does the plaintiff say on the
operational aspect of the DNC?
Well, your Honor, I’m shocked to hear that
we can’t define what it means to be evenhanded and impartial.
If that were the case, we couldn’t have courts. I mean, that’s
what courts do every day, is decide disputes in an evenhanded
and impartial manner.
I think that’s why the Democratic National Committee has it in
its charter, because if you don’t have the organization that is
responsible for organizing in this very large sense the
nominating process for president, which entails multiple
elections in every state of the union, if you’re not evenhanded
and impartial, then you don’t have a democratic process. I
think it’s that simple.
And then we get into the whole gist of what is a democracy and what constitutes fraud.
Let me ask counsel. If a person is fraudulently
induced to donate to a charitable organization, does he have
standing to sue the person who induced the donation?
The DNC tries to weasel out of giving a direct answer to the question and instead addresses other hypothetical situations other than what the judge asked. The judge then allows The American People their reaction to The DNC’s response and this is what they had to say:
First, your response to their answers.
Yes. And I’ll take the last part first,
which was the question your Honor had posed, is there — and
I’m paraphrasing it, but is there a material difference between
a campaign promise, such as “read my lips, no new taxes,” and
representations that are made in the DNC’s own charter?
And, quite frankly, if what defendant — or what the
DNC has just said is true — and I really hope it’s not true,
but if what he said is true, then I think it’s a really sad day
for democracy in this country. Because what essentially the
DNC has now stated in a court of law is that it believes that
there is no enforceable obligation to run the primary elections
of this country’s democracy in a fair and impartial manner.
And if that’s the case — and I think counsel just said it himself — then really, you know, the sky’s the limit
in terms of what the DNC and any party, for that matter, can
After a few hours of wrangling over jurisdictional issues and so on, I found this to be quite interesting:
(The American People)
it just doesn’t make sense to me why
somebody would participate in a political process by paying
money into the process, when they knew that that process was
rigged from the start, which is what we’re alleging.
To which The DNC replies:
I think actually the opposite conclusion is more
logical and certainly apparent, that you would to try to beat
the system, if you viewed it as rigged.
The DNC tried to say that there can’t be a class action because:
we would still have the right, your Honor, to challenge each
class member’s standing. Did they rely on statements of the
DNC? Did they even know about them? Would they have not given
if they had known? Same with the Sanders subclass. Same with
the third subclass.
To which The American People replied:
Again, I think that — I think,
fundamentally, people give money to candidates and can — and
political parties, because they believe that we have a fair
democratic process. And I think that that’s a baseline
assumption whenever a donation is made.
I think that there’s a fundamental understanding in
this country that’s taught from a very early age, certainly I
remember it, that we live in a democracy. And I think a
fundamental part of what a democracy means is that elections
are not conducted in this biased and predetermined way. And I
think that everybody who seeks to participate in the political
process, especially when they’re going to the trouble of
cutting a check to a candidate that they support or a party
that they support, they believe that those candidates and
entities are taking place in a process that is fair and impartial,
because they believe in a process that’s democratic.
So, I don’t think someone necessarily needs to read
the articles we’ve cited or the charter to be in the class of
people that have been defrauded or deceived or unjustly treated
in terms of the unjust enrichment claim by the DNC’s conduct.
And in their closing statements, The American People stated:
If it’s the case that an entity, the DNC, its
chairperson can rig an election, and there’s no remedy at law
for people who’ve made financial contributions on the basis of
what they’ve omitted to tell the public, well, I submit that
that’s a really dire road for this country to be on.
Then the judge closed the proceedings with this statement:
This is a
very interesting case, to say the least. And counsel for the
plaintiffs spoke about whether or not our society — these are
the Court’s words, not his words, he did not use the word
“society” — but whether society is in a dire situation. And
so I leave the lawyers with this. Democracy demands the truth
so people can make intelligent decisions.