WASHINGTON (CNN) - The House Intelligence Committee will investigate whether any laws were broken when the CIA concealed a now-canceled counterterrorism program from Congress, the panel's chairman announced Friday.
Among the things the committee will look into is "whether there was any past decision or direction to withhold information from the committee," Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said in a statement announcing the probe.
"I intend to make this investigation fair and thorough, and it is my goal that it will not become a distraction to the men and women of the CIA," he said.
"However, in order to assist them fully and keep them well-resourced, it is the responsibility of the executive branch to ensure that the committee is kept fully and currently informed of all significant anticipated intelligence activities."
CIA Director Leon Panetta told a congressional committee in June that he was told former Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the intelligence agency to withhold information about the secret program from Congress. Panetta terminated the program when he found out about it last month. The spy agency said Thursday that the program was never put into full effect and played no significant role in the battle against al Qaeda and other violent extremists.