By Julian Hattem - 02/02/16 09:39 AM EST
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is bemoaning leaks about emails on Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPost piles on: ‘Beyond debate’ Trump is unfit for office Clinton, Netanyahu have ‘in-depth’ conversation about US-Israeli ties NYT lays out argument against Trump for president MORE’s personal server and downplaying revelations that 22 of the messages were classified at the highest level.
Rep. Adam SchiffAdam SchiffOvernight Tech: Pressure builds ahead of TV box vote | Intel Dems warn about Russian election hacks | Spending bill doesn't include internet measure Intel Dems: Russia making 'serious effort' to influence US election NY, NJ bombings echo past plots MORE (D-Calif.) told reporters on Tuesday that leaks about the emails linked to the FBI or Justice Department were from ”people pushing a narrative.”
On Friday, the State Department said that 22 of Clinton’s emails were classified as top secret and would not be released to the public in any form.
The revelation added fuel to the fire of criticism surrounding Clinton’s front-runner Democratic presidential campaign, though a campaign spokesman quickly decried the decision as “over-classification run amok.”
The State Department has refused to discuss the content of the emails.
One anonymous government official told Fox News that the messages contained “operational intelligence” that may have jeopardized “sources, methods and lives.”
The FBI has been looking into the security of the server setup for months to determine whether classified information was properly handled.
On Tuesday, Schiff, who has endorsed Clinton’s presidential bid, attempted to downplay the high classification.
“Much has been made of the classification level to imply conclusions, and I would just urge people to let the [Freedom of Information Act] process work its way and let the Justice Dept finish this review," he said.
“The most that I can say, just in general terms, is that the determination that something is top secret, for many people connotes that these are the most closely held secrets, that their revelation would be extremely damaging,” he added. “There are potentially programs that are talked about all the time in the press that fit within that category.
"And so I wouldn’t leap to conclusions based on the classification that it’s revelation would have that kind of consequential impact.”