(FOX NEWS) - Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced Sunday she will soon step down as Democratic National Committee chairwoman, amid the fallout over leaked emails indicating an anti-Bernie Sanders bias in her operation -- a stunning development just hours before the start of her party convention.
In a written statement, the controversial party leader said she was "privileged to serve as the DNC Chair for five and a half years."
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She said her first priority is serving the people of her Florida congressional district while stressing the importance of helping elect Hillary Clinton, adding: "Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention."
She said she would still "open and close the convention," which begins Monday in Philadelphia, and address delegates "about the stakes involved in this election," in her role as party chair.
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President Obama put out this statement on Wasserman Schultz's resignation: "For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful. Her leadership of the DNC has meant that we had someone who brought Democrats together not just for my re-election campaign, but for accomplishing the shared goals we have had for our country. Her critical role in supporting our economic recovery, our fights for social and civil justice and providing health care for all Americans will be a hallmark of her tenure as Party Chair. Her fundraising and organizing skills were matched only by her passion, her commitment and her warmth. And no one works harder for her constituents in Congress than Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Michelle and I are grateful for her efforts, we know she will continue to serve our country as a member of Congress from Florida and she will always be our dear friend."