The Democratic presidential candidates will face off on the debate stage again on Saturday at a time when national security has renewed importance following the San Bernardino attacks.
But overshadowing the debate is the tension between the candidates and the Democratic National Committee, which was most recently put on display on Friday. On the eve of the debate—which will be held in Manchester, New Hampshire, at 8 p.m.—Bernie Sanders’s team accused the DNC of sabotaging the campaign hours after the committee denied the camp access to a crucial voter database. The DNC said that Sanders’s campaign had improperly accessed Hillary Clinton’s private campaign data.
“We are announcing today if the DNC continues to hold our data hostage and continues to attack the heart and soul of our grassroots campaign, we will be in federal court this afternoon seeking immediate relief,” said campaign manager Jeff Weaver at a news conference. “What is required here is a full and independent audit of the DNC’s mishandling of this data and its security from the beginning of this campaign to the present.”
Friday’s events added to a list of grievances the candidates have brought against the committee. Martin O’Malley has continually complained about the party’s debate schedule, which has so far had two fall on Saturday nights. “They’ve scheduled it during shopping season, December 19,” O’Malley said. “I don’t know why that is.”