Rep. Schiff joins fellow Dems in casting doubt on IG letter on Clinton emails

The top Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence suggested Sunday that congressional Republicans are manipulating the inspector general who recently reported about new “top secret” information found on Hillary Clinton’s private email system.

California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff argued that several Republican committee chairmen are investigating Clinton's use of the private system as secretary of state while “actively campaigning” against her.

"I think the inspector general has to be very careful not to allow himself to be used by one political party against the other in a presidential race,” Schiff told "Fox News Sunday."

He also said that one of the chairmen went to a campaign rally for front-running GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump “and said his purpose is to defeat Hillary Clinton.”

Schiff also repeated the argument about the difficulty in trying to agree on what is top secret information. It was among the most recent efforts by Democrats to downplay or discredit the Jan. 14 letter from Intelligence Committee Inspector General Charles McCullough to top Capitol Hill Republicans.

The unclassified letter states that a recent review by intelligence agencies identified "several dozen" classified emails -- including specific, top-secret intelligence related to so-called "special access programs.”

Since the letter was reported by Fox News, Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon has suggested that McCullough “put two Republican senators up to sending him a letter so that he would have an excuse to resurface the same allegations he made back in the summer that have been discredited.”

And Clinton has suggested the purported super-secret information was perhaps a “New York Times” article about a drone program.

Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, a Republican on Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told “Fox News Sunday” in response: “We're not just talking about a newspaper article.

“It's (about) the conversation that interchanges between staff. This whole Clinton procedure (is) trying to attack the messenger and to say the messenger must be a member of the vast right-wing conspiracy.”

However, he declined to discuss what is in the emails but suggested that what McCullough cited in the letter “would absolutely represent a security threat.”

He also argued that McCullough was nominated for the post by President Obama and confirmed unanimously by a Democratic-controlled Senate.