MANCHESTER, New Hampshire -- Just hours ahead of the third Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign laid out a series of questions that it would like Bernie Sanders to answer about the data breach that has upended the race for the nomination.
"Why'd your campaign say you didn't store anything?" reads the first question in a memo penned by Clinton's communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, and posted on a campaign website.
Late on Thursday, it was revealed that four Sanders staffers took advantage of a technical bug to access and, in some cases, save, sensitive voter data owned by the Clinton campaign and stored in a massive voter file. The file is controlled by the Democratic National Committee, which promptly cut off the Sanders campaign's access and accused the campaign of violating its contract with the party.
Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, has been adamant that the aides who viewed the Clinton data did so inadvertently and that the campaign no longer has any of that data.
"There is no data that we are aware of that is in the possession of our campaign or in the possession of our staffers," Jeff Weaver said in an interview with CBS News' Julianna Goldman on Saturday. "If any data is found as a result of our ongoing investigation, we will quarantine that data...and then we will destroy it as instructed."
But logs of the time period during which Sanders' staffers, including the campaign's data director, accessed the Clinton campaign's files show multiple instances when search results were saved or put into folders.
"When you look at the log, 'saving' means an attempt to store the data to your own account," Palmieri wrote, "and there are reports that there were preliminary attempts to export the data into Excel sheets."
She continued: "They knew what they were doing."
Palmieri also specifies that Sanders explain why his aides have called the episode a "mistake," why it did not readily admit that more than one staffer was involved and why it misidentified its data director as a junior-level employee.
The memo comes after reports Saturday morning that Sanders is ready to argue that the party establishment, including the DNC, is partial to the frontrunner.
"If Senator Sanders intends to make his campaign's theft of our data a rallying point, he should have to answer these questions," Palmieri wrote, in closing.
The DNC restored the Sanders' campaign access to the database on Saturday morning, after the party and the campaign reached a deal late Saturday night.