The deal, reached late Friday night, restores Sanders’s access to a database controlled by the party that’s critical for identifying, targeting, and communicating with potential voters. The DNC had cut off Sanders after discovering that his campaign had accessed critical voter files belonging to Hillary Clinton after a security glitch dropped a firewall in the database. The Sanders camp applauded the DNC’s reversal of the “outrageous decision,” but the DNC said that its investigation would continue to ensure to the Sanders campaign had erased all the data that it had accessed.
The controversy exposed long-standing acrimony between Sanders and the DNC. Bernie supporters believe the incident vindicates their belief that the party establishment is not only behind Hillary, but is actively trying to sabotage Sanders’s campaign. It also created a new fissure between the campaigns, as Clinton staffers and high-level supporters tore into Sanders over the data breach. “The Sanders campaign stole data from our campaign,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said, according to Reuters. “There is some damage here that cannot be undone.”
The question hanging over the debate is how much Sanders will lay into the party establishment, and whether Clinton go on the offensive against him, as the moderators invariably will invite her to do.