Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden released a statement Tuesday after Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, accused the Central Intelligence Agency of violating the 4th Amendment by improperly searching a computer network established for Congress in its investigation of alleged CIA abuse during the Bush administration.
Snowden, who leaked extensive NSA surveillance programs to multiple media outlets, compared Feinstein’s protest to that of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German government utilized similar methods to the NSA, and Merkel expressed outrage after documents leaked by Snowden revealed the U.S. had tapped her personal phone conversations.
“It’s clear the CIA was trying to play ‘keep away’ with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that’s a serious constitutional concern,” Snowden said in a statement to NBC News. “But it’s equally if not more concerning that we’re seeing another ‘Merkel Effect,’ where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it’s a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them.”
CIA Director John Brennan on Tuesday called allegations made Feinstein “beyond the scope of reason.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Brennan told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.