Democrats made a big mistake in the 2016 primary.

Even for the Democratic Party, the past few weeks have been bizarre. First, Donna Brazile, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, published excerpts of a forthcoming book in which she says that after she took over the Democratic National Committee, she investigated “whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process” through the DNC, and discovered evidence that they did. “I had found my proof and it broke my heart,” she wrote.

In the aftermath of Brazile’s bombshell, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was asked if she “agree[d] with the notion that it was rigged?” “Yes,” she replied.

Within a few days, both Brazile and Warren walked their statements all the way back. Brazile now says she found “no evidence” the primary was rigged. Warren now says that though there was “some bias” within the DNC, “the overall 2016 primary process was fair.”

I have spent much of the past week trying to untangle this story, interviewing people on all sides of the primary and in a variety of positions at the DNC. The core facts are straightforward: As Barack Obama’s presidency drew to a close, the DNC was deep in debt. In return for a bailout, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave Hillary Clinton’s campaign more potential control over its operations and hiring decisions than was either ethical or wise. But those operations were mostly irrelevant to the primary and couldn’t have been used to rig the process even if anyone had wanted to use them that way; the primary schedule, debate schedule, and rules were set well in advance of these agreements. “I found nothing to say they were gaming the primary system,” Brazile told me. And while that contradicts the more sensational language she used in her Read More Here