Sen. Feinstein: CIA Searched Congressional Computers


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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, says she has “grave concerns” the CIA has conducted an unauthorized search of a computer network used by Congress.

In a lengthy and blistering speech on the Senate floor Tuesday morning, the California Democrat says she believes the actions of the CIA may be illegal. She said the search “may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution.”

“I have asked for an apology and a recognition that this CIA search of computers used by its oversight committee was inappropriate,” Feinstein said. “I have received neither.”

Her comments are an escalation of the ongoing tensions between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is undertaking a deep review of the controversial interrogation and detention program. The CIA has been trying to keep the review from becoming public.

“Besides the constitutional implication, the CIA’s search may also have violated the Fourth Amendment, the computer fraud and abuse act, as well as executive order 12333, which prohibits the CIA from conducing domestic searches or surveillance,” Feinstein said.

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