DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to have limited role at Democratic National Convention

Posted at 1:34 PM, Jul 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-24 15:30:03-04

PHILADELPHIA -- The Democratic National Committee's chairwoman is expected to have a limited role at the party's convention in Philadelphia this week, after leaked emails suggested committee officials favored Hillary Clinton in the presidential primary race. 

A DNC rules panel has decided that U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge, from northeast Ohio, will preside over convention sessions beginning Monday. A rules committee member said Fudge was voted convention chairwoman as part of standard procedures. 

That makes clear that DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz will not act in that capacity; under party rules, the DNC head acts as temporary chair until a new one is voted in.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and U.S. Rep Marcia Fudge in March 2016. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Still in question is what role Wasserman Schultz might play during this week's Democratic convention, with a top Democratic official telling CNN "She's been quarantined."

Meanwwhile, Barney Frank, co-chair of the rules committee, said Fudge was on the list to be convention chair "long before" the emails were leaked. He said heads of the Democratic National Committee are never picked to oversee convention proceedings. According to ABC News, the plan was to have Wasserman Schultz open the proceedings and speak briefly at the start of the convention Monday afternoon.

Many supporters of Bernie Sanders are angry over revelations contained in the 19,000 leaked emails, including one message questioning whether Sanders could be an atheist.

"I'm not shocked, but I am disappointed," Sanders told ABC's "This Week."

RELATED: How Clinton hopes to woo Ohio's working class

Sanders has also called on Wasserman Schultz to resign immediately, saying a new leader is needed to focus the DNC on defeating Donald Trump, attracting young voters and improving the economy.

The DNC rules committee member spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of internal party affairs.

The Clinton team worked to portray their party's convention in a different light from the just concluded Republican gathering in Cleveland, where Donald Trump accepted the GOP nomination but party divisions flared when his chief rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, refused to endorse the billionaire businessman.

MORE: Democrats look to unify in Philly

But party disunity also seems to be a factor in Philadelphia, given Sanders' demands for a new leader and general unhappiness among his many supporters about how the nomination process unfolded.