Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Senator says CIA may have broken law, undermined Constitution

WASHINGTON — A festering conflict between the CIA and its congressional overseers broke into the open Tuesday when Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Intelligence Committee, denounced the agency, accusing it of withholding information and trying to intimidate committee staff members investigating the detention program that began after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Describing what she called a "defining moment" for the oversight of U.S. spy agencies, Feinstein said the CIA had removed documents from computers used by committee staff members working on a report on the detention program, searched the computers after the panel completed its report, and referred a criminal case to the Justice Department to try to thwart the inquiry.

The 6,300-page report has been at the center of a bitter dispute between the committee and the CIA, which says it contains many inaccuracies that it wants corrected before it is released.

Feinstein said the internal review bolstered the conclusions of the committee's still-classified report on the detention program, which President Barack Obama officially ended in January 2009 after sharply criticizing it during the 2008 presidential campaign.

For an intelligence community already buffeted by controversies over electronic surveillance and armed drone strikes, the rupture with Feinstein, one of its closest congressional allies, could have broad ramifications for the entire U.S. intelligence apparatus.

"Feinstein has always pushed the agency in private and defended it in public," said Amy Zegart, who studies intelligence issues at Stanford University. "Now she is skewering the CIA in public. This is a whole new world for the CIA."

Feinstein took to the Senate floor on Tuesday morning to say the agency's actions had breached constitutional provisions for the separation of powers and "were a potential effort to intimidate."

Hours later, CIA director John Brennan forcefully denied Feinstein's assertions that the agency had carried out a broad effort to spy on the committee's work.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Brennan said in response to questions during an appearance at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

Senator says CIA may have broken law, undermined Constitution 03/11/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 12:04am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena

    Blogs

    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack

    World

    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath

    K12

    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.