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Leaked emails mar Democratic convention opening

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. wave during a rally in Portsmouth, N.H., Tuesday, July 12, 2016, where Sanders endorsed Clinton for president. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) ORG XMIT: NHAH212

PHILADELPHIA — Hacked Democratic National Committee emails showing staffers plotting against Bernie Sanders sparked a controversy that may spill over to the opening session on Monday.

As a result, the convention role of DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is being diminished, as the Hillary Clinton team juggles considerations of placating Sanders supporters and angering swing state Florida delegates.

Wasserman Schultz will neither speak nor preside over the convention, CNN is reporting.

Florida is so important that Clinton decided to make her debut with freshly minted running mate Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., at a rally Saturday in Miami.

In one of the emails, found at Wikileaks.org, the chief financial officer of the DNC writes to three colleagues about Sanders, who is Jewish, suggesting that the party get someone to ask him about his faith.

Sanders, asked his response by CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, said, “I think it’s outrageous, but it is not a great shock to me.” Sanders and his team alleged through the primary season that the DNC was not neutral and was undercutting his campaign.

“It’s what we talked about six months ago. I mean there is no question to my mind . . . to question to any objective observers mind that the DNC was supporting Hillary Clinton (and) was in opposition to our campaign, so I not quite shocked by this.”

Sanders had earlier called for Wasserman Schultz to step down.

ABC News was reporting that negotiations were ongoing to “significantly downgrade the public role of party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at her own convention.”

On Sunday morning the DNC was in lockdown, not commenting on the percolating uproar.