A Tom Steyer aide has resigned after allegedly stealing presidential campaign data from Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
The Democratic National Committee announced Monday that an aide for the billionaire 2020 candidate had downloaded volunteer data belonging to Harris' campaign in South Carolina, with the DNC issuing a cease and desist letter, ABC News reports. Dwane Sims, Steyer's deputy South Carolina state director, reportedly accessed the data using an account from when he worked for the South Carolina Democratic Party, the Post and Courier reports.
Sims has now resigned, with the Steyer campaign also issuing an apology to Harris. Steyer's campaign claims Sims downloaded the files accidentally, thinking they belonged to the Steyer campaign, although ABC News notes logs show "that 'Harris' is written prominently on the files." The Post and Courier and ABC News also report that Sims downloaded the data a few minutes after placing a call to the DNC to notify them of his access.
"We are talking about 180 seconds in a system that is notoriously inaccurate,” Steyer campaign spokesman Alberto Lammers told the Post and Courier in response, going on to say that "the bottom line is that nothing would have taken place if the DNC had been more diligent about the security of voter data."
The South Carolina Democratic Party says "all data downloaded by this individual was destroyed and was not provided to any third parties," NBC News reports. Steyer on Twitter said he has "personally reached out" to Harris and was "deeply disappointed to learn of this situation."