Democrats in Talks to Downgrade DNC Chair's Convention Role

Democratic Party officials are negotiating to significantly downgrade the public role of party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at her own convention, according to a top Democratic Party source.

The talks, in consultation with the campaign staffs of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, come in the wake of leaked emails that appear to show top Democratic National Committee aides strategizing about ways to harm Sanders politically in the party primary. The convention begins tomorrow in Philadelphia.

Democratic officials are considering as one possibility finding someone besides Wasserman Schultz to preside over the convention, perhaps by naming a new permanent convention chairperson to handle podium and administrative duties -- though not to serve as chair of the Democratic National Committee itself, the source said.

Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, a Clinton loyalist, is in line to become the convention's permanent chairperson, according to an internal party document obtained by ABC News. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will serve as the honorary chair and could also take over some functions normally performed by the DNC chairperson.

The party's officials fear that giving Wasserman Schultz in a prominent role would lead to widespread booing on the convention floor from Sanders' supporters and delegates.

At the same time, officials are also concerned about fully replacing Wasserman Schultz in her role as party chairwoman in light of the Democratic primary challenge she faces in her Florida congressional district next month.

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