The Vermont senator claimed a breach of contract resulted earlier in the week when the DNC cut his campaign off after several of his staffers improperly reviewed proprietary information gathered by Hillary Clinton. The intrusion came during a stretch when a firewall in the database was mistakenly dropped by a contractor hired by the DNC.
In its statement, the Sanders campaign claimed the DNC had “capitulated” and committed an “about face” on a punishment that the Sanders team characterized as far over-reaching.
“We are extremely pleased that the DNC has reversed its outrageous decision,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’s campaign manager, adding: “Clearly, they were very concerned about their prospects in court.”
In its statement, the DNC maintained that what Sanders’s camp had done was “completely unacceptable” and said that “the DNC expects each campaign to operate with integrity going forward with respect to the voter file.”
The DNC also stressed that the Sanders campaign had agreed to cooperate with an investigation that would continue.
The dueling statements came just hours after Weaver and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz both appeared on MSBNC’s “All in with Chris Hayes” and did little to hide the disdain they apparently were feeling toward one another.
Wasserman Schultz told guest host Alex Wagner that Sanders was “a man of integrity” but that Sanders’s campaign staff “is not serving him very well. And she used this analogy to describe the data breach:
“It’s as if you found a house with an unlocked front door and instead of locking it and notifying authorities, you went in and you took things, ransacked the house and took things that didn't belong to you. And then you expect to continue to have access to the house.”
On the show, Wasserman Schultz also suggested that the Sanders’s camp had been dragging its feet to provide a full accounting of the incident to the DNC -- a condition it had set for restoring access to the data.
During a separate interview, Weaver hotly disputed that, holding up his phone to show an email sent the night before to a top staffer at the DNC.
“I’m happy to provide it to anybody in the media, which will demonstrate that, of course, what the chairwoman said was absolutely false,” Weaver said. “We have responded with information. If they wanted additional information, they certainly should have let us know.”
Weaver also suggested the DNC was likely to settle the case because they were afraid of what might come out in the discovery process of the legal proceedings.
“We will get access to all the internal communications of the DNC where we can demonstrate what I think most people think is going on, which is that there are some people in there who are clearly trying to help the Clinton campaign,” he said.
The Clinton camp, meanwhile, aggressively went after the Sanders campaign on Friday afternoon, with Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon accusing the Sanders staffers who discovered the Clinton data of acting “like kids in the candy store.”
“They went hog wild, downloading as much data as they could,” he said on CNN.
The Sanders campaign acknowledged that four staffers had viewed the data, one of whom was fired.
Later Friday, the Clinton camp struck a more conciliatory tone, issuing a statement in which Fallon said that his campaign was hopeful the matter would be resolved Friday night and that the Sanders team would get access to its voter files “right away.”
But a few hours after the matter was resolved, Fallon put out a statement highlighting the fact that the Sanders campaign had “agreed to submit to an independent audit to determine the full extent of the intrusion.”
“We believe this audit should proceed immediately, and, pending its findings, we expect further disciplinary action to be taken as appropriate,” he said.
The lawsuit also remains live. Despite the agreement between Sanders and the DNC on data access, the case has not been dismissed and could come back into play if tensions continue.
Clinton, Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, meanwhile, are scheduled to meet Saturday night for the third Democratic debate of the 2016 cycle.
Robert Costa contributed to this report.