Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Senator Feinstein has a long-standing fierce reputation for backing the CIA, throughout her political career.
That all changed once she discovered that she and her committee were targets of CIA spying. So once again, it seems that there is one law for the people and a different law for Congress. It was OK when the CIA was indiscriminately spying on Americans, but as soon as they spied on Congress, it was time to act.
In a dramatic speech on the Senate floor, she suggested the CIA may have broken the law and violated the Constitution by searching a stand-alone computer network established for Congress.
It turns out the proble into the congressional network happened in January, during the Senate Intelligence Committee’s ongoing investigation into the CIA’s detention and interrogation programs under President George W. Bush.
Feinstein said she referred the matter to the Department of Justice. She wanted to know who was in charge of that probe.
In her speech to the Senate, she said, “I have grave concerns that the CIA search may well have violated the separation of powers principles, not taking it lightly,” insinuating it was an attempt at intimidation.
The CIA and Congress have accused each other of spying from computers the agency provided Congress as part of the investigation so the committee could review classified documents at CIA headquarters.
The CIA apparently found documents that showed former President George W. Bush in a compromising situation. That led to CIA personnel searching the computers to see how Congress got the information.
Feinstein made it a blunt statement – “The CIA just went and searched the committee’s computers.”
Liberal Vermont Sen. Pat Leahy piped in calling it “historic” and something he thought was one of the Senate biggest moments.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was quick to commend Feinstein for “one of the most important principles we must maintain, separation of powers.”
It seems they don’t like being spied on.