Lawyers for the Democratic National Committee claim that the party has every right to pick presidential candidates in shady back-room deals and private negotiations, effectively ignoring the will of the voters, according to newly released transcripts from a federal court.The transcripts are from a federal court in Florida hearing a lawsuit filed by Bernie Sanders supporters against the DNC and its former Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz for allegedly ‘rigging’ the democratic primaries for Hillary Clinton.

Lawyers for the National Committee argued that the charter of the Democratic party does not require ‘neutrality’ during the presidential primaries, saying impartiality is “a discretionary rule that it didn’t need to adopt to begin with.”

The attorneys claim that even Bernie Sanders supporters were aware of this fact ahead of the election.

“The Court would have to find that people who fervently supported Bernie Sanders and who purportedly didn’t know that this favoritism was going on would have not given to Mr. Sanders, to Senator Sanders if they had known that there was this purported favoritism,” DNC lawyers added.

Jared Beck, an attorney representing the Sanders’ voters blasted the DNC argument, saying it undermines the root of our democratic system.

“People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee—nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial,” Beck said. “And that’s not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that’s what the Democratic National Committee’s own charter says.

h/t The Observer