Democratic Candidates Agree to Move On From Sanders Campaign Data Breach

Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters during an off the schedule campaign stop at Portsmouth Book and Bar in Portsmouth, New Hampshire December 15, 2015. Brian Snyder/Reuters

Updated | In the days leading up to the third Democratic Party debate on Saturday, the party has been enveloped by a data breach scandal. The scandal over the breach, allegedly from the Bernie Sanders campaign, escalated to the point where Sanders fired Josh Uretsky, an aide linked to the access to the data. Uretsky claims the data wasn't accessed improperly and that he was trying to "understand how badly the Sanders campaign's data was exposed."

Sanders campaign also filed a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to keep access to the valuable database of its voters after the DNC closed it off after a complaint from the Clinton campaign.

During the Saturday night debate, Sanders apologized to Hillary Clinton. Clinton accepted the apology, agreeing that "we should move on."

"I don't think the American people is really interested in this issue," Clinton says.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley chimed in claiming data breach was a non-issue. "You want to know why things dont get done in washington...we're listening to the bickering going back and forth," O'Malley says.

Bringing the scandal up could score points for Clinton, and paint Sanders as a regular politician who uses dirty tricks, a narrative that could undermine his outsider status and sap some of his base's enthusiasm. Neither the Clinton or the O'Malley teams seem to have thought that was a good idea.

The Clinton campaign has kept the scandal in the news, and called the data access theft. The Sanders campaign has used the issue to claim that it isn't not being treated fairly by the DNC, who they say is getting special treatment as the obvious front-runner in the race.

"In this case it looks like they are trying to help the Clinton campaign," Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver says at a news conference on Friday afternoon. "We need our data, which has been stolen by the DNC. That's what we want back."

Hours after the press conference, Weaver and the Sanders campaign filed a lawsuit to get access. Sanders and the DNC agreed to restore voter file access to the former in exchange for agreeing to an independent audit on the data breach just after midnight on Saturday.