Democrats in Talks to Downgrade Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Role at Convention

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced she would leave her leadership position after the Democratic National Convention ends this week, amid a controversy over leaked DNC emails.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz will no longer speak at or preside over her party's convention, CNN reported Sunday, citing sources.

"I've been proud to serve as the first woman nominated by a sitting president as Chair of the Democratic National Committee and I am confident that the strong team in place will lead our party effectively through this election to elect Hillary Clinton as our 45th president", she said in a statement.

Some of the 19,000 emails published on the website Wikileaks suggest the Democratic National Committee played favorites during the primary season.

Wasserman Schultz's departure follows an uproar over the almost 20,000 emails released by Wikileaks that revealed efforts were discussed by party staffers to seemingly undermine the candidacy of Sanders, the Vermont senator who was runner-up to Clinton in the Democratic presidential campaign.

"I told you long time ago that the DNC was not running a fair operation, that they were supporting Secretary Clinton", Sanders said. "We need a Democratic Party that is open, that could bring young people and working people into it, that is going to stand up and take on the big money interests and fight for working families".

Clinton's campaign manager is alleging Russian hackers are leaking the emails in an effort to help Republican nominee Donald Trump win the election in November.

But party disunity also seems to be a factor in Philadelphia, given Sanders' demands for a new leader and general unhappiness among his many supporters about how the nomination process unfolded.

She will not have a speaking role at this week's convention, according to several reports.

Blowback to the emails came from all corners of the political world Sunday - including Clinton supporters and Donald Trump.

"For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back".

The emails, which were released by WikiLeaks just days before the party's convention launches in Philadelphia, appear to show top DNC officials trading ideas on how to hurt Sanders at the polls.

"I've been clear that I think she has not been effectively unifying the party, and this makes it harder", Rybak said.

Sanders initially was reluctant to criticize Clinton but drew sharper contrasts as he became a real threat to her candidacy as the primary season wore on.

On the hacked emails, Clinton's campaign manager, Robby Mook, tried to shift blame away from DNC officials to "Russian state actors" who, he said, may have hacked into DNC computers "for the objective of helping Donald Trump", the Republican presidential nominee.

  • Joey Payne