WASHINGTON, April 30 (UPI) -- Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign withdrew a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee that alleged the DNC wrongly cut off access to the campaign's voter identification data ahead of the Iowa caucuses.
The DNC cut off the voter data access after it said Sanders' campaign improperly accessed data belonging to his opponent, Hillary Clinton, after a firewall that separated the two campaigns' data on a DNC server was temporarily taken down.
When news of the data breach became public, the DNC acted swiftly to punish the Sanders campaign, saying it had intentionally searched Clinton's voter data models for the upcoming New Hampshire primary and in other states, likening it to seeing the Clinton campaign's "strategic roadmap."
Sanders said nothing of the sort had taken place. The campaign said a staff member had access to the Clinton data for about one hour. Metadata showed the campaign staff member, who was immediately fired, had run several searches and exported data from one of them, but had never shared that information with anyone.
The Sanders campaign filed a lawsuit, seeking $75,000 in damages, in federal court. Only after that suit did the DNC reopen access to Sanders' own data on DNC servers.
The Sanders campaign maintained the lawsuit but had said it was hoping to reach a settlement with the DNC.
Claiming an independent investigation had vindicated his campaign, Sanders said he dropped the lawsuit.
"An independent investigation of the firewall failures in the DNC's shared voter file database has definitively confirmed that the original claims by the DNC and the Clinton campaign were wholly inaccurate -- the Sanders campaign never 'stole' any voter file data; the Sanders campaign never 'exported' any unauthorized voter file data; and the Sanders campaign certainly never had access to the Clinton campaign's 'strategic road map.'"
A DNC spokesman told Politico the independent investigation by the group CrowdStrike "identified evidence of unauthorized access via four user accounts from the Bernie 2016 campaign. All unauthorized access occurred during a one-hour period from 10:41 to 11:42 EST on December 16, 2015."