DOJ Won’t Investigate Feinstein Claim That CIA Spied On Senate Committee

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaks after a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 3, 2014, as the panel votes to approve declassifying part of a secret report on Bush-era interrogations of terrorism suspects puts the onus on the CIA and a reluctant White House to speed the release of one of the most definitive accounts about the government's actions after the 9/11 attacks. Members of the intelligence community raised concerns that the committee failed to interview top spy agency officials who had authorized or supervised the brutal interrogations.  (AP Photo/Molly Riley)
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaks after a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 3, 2014, as the panel votes to approve declassifying part of a sec... Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. speaks after a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 3, 2014, as the panel votes to approve declassifying part of a secret report on Bush-era interrogations of terrorism suspects puts the onus on the CIA and a reluctant White House to speed the release of one of the most definitive accounts about the government's actions after the 9/11 attacks. Members of the intelligence community raised concerns that the committee failed to interview top spy agency officials who had authorized or supervised the brutal interrogations. (AP Photo/Molly Riley) MORE LESS
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This post has been updated.

The Justice Department will not investigate claims that the CIA improperly searched Senate Intelligence Committee computers, McClatchy reported.

“The department carefully reviewed the matters referred to us and did not find sufficient evidence to warrant a criminal investigation,” Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr told McClatchy.

Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in March alleged that the CIA of hacked into the Senate computer network during the committee’s investigation into the CIA’s torture practices under the Bush administration.

She said that the CIA Inspector General referred the matter to the Justice Department “given the possibility of a criminal violation by CIA personnel.”

CIA Director John Brennan called Feinstein’s claim “beyond the scope of reason.”

But Feinstein would not back away from the accusation after her initial speech railing against the CIA.

“The speech was carefully put together. I believe it’s accurate. And I believe those words should stand,” she said on CNN.

The DOJ also declined to investigate the CIA’s accusation that Senate staffers took classified documents out of a secure CIA facility.

On Thursday, Feinstein said she supported the Justice Department’s decision not to probe the Intelligence Committee.

“I am pleased the Justice Department has decided not to open an investigation into Intelligence Committee staff. I believe this is the right decision and will allow the committee to focus on the upcoming release of its report on the CIA detention and interrogation program,” Feinstein said in a statement.

Senators on Thursday stood by Feinstein’s initial concerns and allegations that the CIA conducted an improper search after the DOJ confirmed it would not investigate.

TPM has reached out to Feinstein’s office for comment.

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Notable Replies

  1. Only Congress can yank back the unspeakable powers granted to the executive handed over in the wake of 9/11.

  2. Avatar for meri meri says:

    Haha. The same STFU that peasants get also gets handed to our Mighty Senators.

    What are you going to do about it, Feinstein?

  3. Virtually every employer makes it very clear that their computer assets are not the employees personal property and employees are not entitled to privacy protections. Perhaps the Congresscritters think they’re soverign countries or something, due to their elected status, but evidently not.

  4. Avatar for meta meta says:

    Shhh. Dino is having it both ways.

  5. Avatar for meri meri says:

    Does Feinstein work for the Executive branch? The CIA?

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