Democratic campaign organizations have paid or pledged to pay more than $2 million for key parts of Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign infrastructure -- including her email list and campaign software -- as the party ramps up a costly campaign to win back both houses of Congress this November, The Intercept reported Wednesday.
According to the report, the Democratic National Committee will pay Clinton's PAC Onward Together $1.65 million for access to her campaign resources, including voter data. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has paid more than $700,000 to rent the email list.
In contrast, then-President Barack Obama gifted his email list worth nearly $2 million to the DNC as an in-kind contribution in 2015, the report added.
Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile told The Intercept she had negotiated quarterly payments to the Clinton campaign in exchange for access to the list. She said the last payment initially was scheduled for February of this year. However, DNC spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa told the website that Brazile's successor, Tom Perez, restructured the payment schedule and redirected the money to Onward Together.
According to OpenSecrets.org and Federal Election Commission records, the DNC has made four payments to Onward Together between January and March of this year, totaling $705,000. Hinojosa told The Intercept the remaining money would be paid out by October.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told Fox News in an email that "paying a rental fee for use of an email list is common practice, and in this case the DNC has raised over $30 million with it, an 1800 [percent] return on their investment."
"Putting the DNC on a strong footing is something that Secretary Clinton was very focused on during the campaign," Merrill added. "She was the first presidential candidate in decades to leave the DNC in the black after a Presidential cycle. The campaign turned over an unprecedented amount of campaign data and resources."
The Intercept report comes as the DNC struggles with a fundraising disadvantage while the midterm campaign kicks into high gear. According to OpenSecrets, the RNC has raised $171.5 million so far this cycle, nearly double the $88.1 million raised by the DNC.
The numbers also show that the DNC has spent $90.5 million this cycle -- nearly $2 million more than it has taken in -- and has just $9.3 million in cash on hand. By contrast, the RNC has nearly $43 million in cash on hand and a surplus of $17.6 million.
Last year, Brazile disclosed she had discovered a joint fundraising agreement drawn up by the DNC and the Clinton campaign in August 2015. As part of the agreement, Brazile wrote, "Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised ... Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff."
Brazile also wrote in her book "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House" that "individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund—that figure represented $10,000 to each of the 32 states’ parties who were part of the ... agreement ... and $33,400 to the DNC."
"The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that," Brazile added. "Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to [Clinton campaign headquarters]."
The stark financial numbers have not deterred Perez from setting up a so-called "State Party Innovation Fund," a $10 million grant program meant to rebuild the state parties.
Representatives for the DNC did not respond to a request for comment by Fox News.