WASHINGTON: Donna Brazile, a former Democratic National Committee (DNC) interim chair, has claimed that the party organisation helped Hillary Clintons campaign "rig" the 2016 Democratic primary against Bernie Sanders.
In a Politico op-ed on Thursday, Brazile alleged that Clinton was controlling the finances of the party before officially winning the 2016 Democratic nomination for President.
The piece, titled "Inside Hillary Clinton's Secret Takeover of the DNC", is an excerpt from Brazile's forthcoming book.
Brazile said an agreement was reached between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and Clinton's joint fundraising committee.
"This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity," Brazile said about the arrangement.
Senator Elizabeth Warren similarly said she believed the 2016 Democratic presidential primary was rigged for Clinton.
Last year, Brazile took over as DNC chair after Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced out of the role over leaked emails suggesting she may have favoured Clinton during the primary.
"I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton's team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested," Brazile wrote.
"By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart," Brazile said.
The proof, according to Brazile, was a joint fundraising agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund and Hillary for America, the Hill magazine reported.
It had been signed in August 2015, four months after the former Secretary of State announced she was running for President and a year before she officially became the Democratic nominee.
Brazile said joint fundraising committees were created between the DNC and both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns during the 2016 election cycle. However, Clinton was the only candidate who raised money for the party.
Representive Tulsi Gabbard, a former vice chair of the DNC, called the 2016 Democratic primary "unethical" in response to the expose.
"Today we heard from Donna Brazile that what many suspected for a long time, is actually true: the DNC secretly chose their nominee over a year before the primary elections even occurred, turning over DNC control to the Clinton campaign," Gabbard said in a statement.
"The deep financial debt, closed door decision-making, complete lack of transparency and unethical practices are now front and centre," she said.