Reid orders investigation into CIA/Intelligence Committee dispute
March 20th, 2014
02:50 PM ET
4 months ago

Reid orders investigation into CIA/Intelligence Committee dispute

Washington (CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid upped the ante in a simmering dispute between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Central Intelligence Agency by ordering an investigation into their competing charges of wrongdoing.

In a pair of letters made public Thursday to CIA Director John Brennan and Attorney General Eric Holder, Reid contends "the CIA has produced no evidence to support its claims" that committee investigators "hacked into the CIA's highly secure classified networks" and improperly obtained a controversial document related to the committee's investigation of torture by the agency in the wake of 9-11.

Read the letters to Brennan and Holder

According to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D- California, the document in question, known as the Panetta Review, shows that an internal CIA review of its so-called enhanced interrogations agreed with some of the committee's own findings about the torture of terror subjects.

In turn, Reid called the CIA's acting general counsel's referral of the hacking allegations to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution "a transparent attempt to intimidate the Committee and undermine its oversight of the Agency."

Reid said he had instructed the Senate Sergeant at Arms Terry Gainer to conduct a "forensic examination" of the computers the intelligence committee staff used to during its lengthy investigation at an off-site CIA facility in Virginia. Feinstein alleged in a recent speech that the CIA had given her investigators the Panetta Review and later improperly removed it and other documents from the investigator's computers.

"The CIA's decision to access the resources and work product of the legislative branch without permission is absolutely indefensible," Reid said in his letter to Holder.

"This action has serious separation of powers implications. It is immaterial whether this action was taken in response to concerns about the Committee's possession of a disputed document; this stands as a categorically different and more serious breach."

Brennan has denied his agency did anything wrong.

As Sergeant at Arms, Gainer is the top law enforcement official in the Senate. He is a former police chief of the U.S. Capitol Police as well as the DC Metropolitan Police.


Filed under: CIA • Harry Reid
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. just saying

    this criminal obama administration and corrupt democrat senate continues its lawlessness and total disregard for the laws of this nation. please america, flush these criminals in 2014 & 2016. we are the laughing stock of the world thanks to these incompetent criminals.

    March 20, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. bucker125

    Between CIA spys and polician spys......no one looks into the White House, where all this mess started.

    March 20, 2014 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Captain Obvious

    Wow... Harry Reid, the new Darryl Issa. Democrats investigating other Democrats! And they accuse the Republicans of being divided?

    March 20, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    These are serious allegations coming from both camps. Here's the part that I don't understand. If the Senate is supposed to ahve oversight, why would they have to steal a report, as the CIA suggests? Shouldn't the Senate committee have had access to the finished report, anyway?

    March 20, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    @Captain Obvious
    Wow... Harry Reid, the new Darryl Issa. Democrats investigating other Democrats! And they accuse the Republicans of being divided?
    ---------
    Dems investigating other Dems – divided!
    Dems not investigating other Dems – cover-up!
    There will be a conspiracy theory!

    March 20, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  6. spike

    Whoever wrote the book, The Obama Deception was spot on. Everything this administration says is a lie. Earlier this week we found out that actual illegal deportations were less than half of what they said they were, in fact the lowest in 20 years, and now this:

    Despite the Obama administration touting a budget deficit of "only" $680 billion
    in 2013, the GAO's more accurate accounting shows a total government cost of
    $3.8 trillion on total revenue of $2.8 trillion.

    In other words– the administration wasn't exactly honest with the American people– the deficit was more like $1 trillion, not $680 billion. But it gets worse.

    The GAO added up ALL the US government's assets in 2013. Aircraft carriers. The highway system. Land. Cash and financial assets. The total is $2.97 trillion.

    The liabilities, on the other hand, total $19.88 trillion. This includes the
    official public debt, plus all sorts of IOUs and loan guarantees.

    This means the net EQUITY of the US government is minus $16.9
    trillion.
    Moreover, the US government's cash position is a mere $206
    billion... roughly 1.1% of its public debt. This isn't enough to cover net
    interest payments for the next year.

    March 20, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    Reid is a clown.

    March 20, 2014 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    bucker125

    Between CIA spys and polician spys......no one looks into the White House, where all this mess started.
    -------------------------
    Director Brennan is a holdover from the Bush adminstration. Ditto for Lois Lerner, who is at the center of the IRS controversy. Ditto for the people involved in "Fast and Furious". Ditto for the people running the NSA spying programs. Did I miss anything?

    March 20, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    GOP is a clown car.....

    March 20, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Captain Obvious

    Silence DoGood
    Dems investigating other Dems – divided!
    Dems not investigating other Dems – cover-up!
    There will be a conspiracy theory!
    --

    Why is everything with the left a 'conspiracy theory'??? It is what it is. One is a food fight and if they don't investigate then it is a cover up of sorts, another smearfest.

    Either way it is nice to see the Democrats now FINALLY think something is worth investigating because until their own papers and personal were violated, nothing was worth investigating, even when people got killed.

    March 20, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Donna

    spike
    The GAO added up ALL the US government's assets in 2013. Aircraft carriers. The highway system. Land. Cash and financial assets. The total is $2.97 trillion.
    -–
    Yes, but you miss the real picture. The 16th Amendment grants the government unlimited possession of ALL OF OUR FUTURE EARNINGS. The government is not borrowing against its assets, it is borrowing against the future earnings of our kids and grand kids and great grand kids, and WITHOUT LIMIT.

    It is a giant ponzi scheme and we all know how those end don't we?

    March 20, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. salty dog

    Thanks so much spike, where would we be without your genius? Total BS, I believe it was your boy George that started this, confused again I see.

    March 20, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. getoverit

    The headline should read "Democratic Civil War, Party Implosion Imminent!", but then again, this is CNN.

    March 20, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |