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DNC chairwoman forced out amid email scandal

Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign
Posted: 4:32 PM, Jul 24, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-25 15:39:15Z

The head of the Democratic National Committee is resigning after several private emails were released that suggested the DNC was biased toward Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the 2016 primary election.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz — who's also a Florida congresswoman — released a statement on Sunday afternoon announcing her decision to step down.

"Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish [the goals of the Democratic party] is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention," Wasserman Schultz said. She was referring to the Democratic National Convention, which will be held in Philadelphia from Monday through Thursday this week.

Wasserman Schultz was heckled at Florida breakfast with opponents shouting, "Shame," according to The Associated Press.

Last week, Wikileaks released thousands of emails from within the Democratic National Committee. In several of the emails, it's made clear that the party was less supportive of Sanders during his run opposing Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee.

For members of the Democratic party it should have been a quiet day ahead of a week of celebrating the historic nomination of Clinton. But the news started the convention on a bittersweet note, furthering the narrative that Clinton plays by a different set of rules than other Americans.

"There's been dirty politics throughout history and I certainly hope that Congresswoman Wasserman [Schultz] is defeated in her local election because it's disgraceful," said Sanders supporter Jack Shannahan on Sunday. Wasserman Schultz's seat in Congress is up for re-election in November.

The news of Wasserman Schultz's resignation came as Democratic delegates from the around the world were doing a microphone check inside the Wells Fargo Center, where the convention will be held.

President Obama released a statement Sunday commenting positively on Wasserman Schultz's tenure as head of the DNC, but sidestepping any mention of the controversy surrounding her resignation.

"For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back," Obama said. "This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful."

Sanders is scheduled to speak on Clinton's behalf at the convention on Monday night. His supporters can't help but feel Wasserman Schultz didn't have their candidate's "back" during the months leading to Clinton's nomination.

"It's very disturbing because we want the Democratic Party to be as democratic as possible," said Sanders supporter Sarah Lloyd.

Scripps National News reporter Charles Benson contributed to this report.