WASHINGTON (AP) — One senator says "people should go to jail" if the charges of CIA interference with the work of a Senate committee are true.
Republican Lindsey Graham is reacting to charges today from Democrat Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Intelligence Committee. She says the CIA removed documents and searched a computer network that had been set up at a CIA facility in Virginia to be used by lawmakers looking into the possible use of torture during terror investigations.
Each side in the dispute is asking for the Justice Department to investigate the other. And Feinstein says the CIA's request for an investigation could be an effort to "intimidate" her committee's staff as it investigates the interrogation methods.
CIA Director John Brennan is rejecting Feinstein's accusations. He insists the agency is not trying to thwart the work of the committee, and he denies that it had been spying on the panel or on the Senate. Brennan says the appropriate authorities will investigate and determine if there was a violation of the law.
Brennan had told Feinstein in a letter in January that he took responsibility for ordering CIA technicians to audit the computer systems used by the Senate staffers. He said he did so after finding that Senate investigators may have "improperly obtained" sensitive CIA documents.
Before it exploded today into a public clash, the dispute between the CIA and senators had been going on privately for more than five years.
187-a-08-(Jay Carney, White House press secretary, at news conference)-"bottom of it"-White House press secretary Jay Carney says President Obama agrees with CIA Chief John Brennan -- that the allegation that his agency improperly accessed Senate computers should be investigated. (11 Mar 2014)
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158-a-07-(CIA Director John Brennan, speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations)-"report's progression, release"-CIA Director John Brennan says the agency is not trying to get in the way of the Senate Intelligence Committee putting out a report on allegations of Bush-era torture. (11 Mar 2014)
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149-a-12-(Senator Dianne Feinstein (FYN'-styn), D-Calif., chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee, in remarks)-"United States Constitution"-Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein says the CIA's actions may have been unconstitutional. (11 Mar 2014)
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APPHOTO DCCK105: CIA Director John O. Brennan pauses as he speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, in Washington. The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday the CIA improperly searched a stand-alone computer network established for Congress in its investigation of allegations of CIA abuse in a Bush-era detention and interrogation program and the agency's own inspector general has referred the matter to the Justice Department for possible legal action. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (11 Mar 2014)
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APPHOTO DCSA103: Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. leaves the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, after saying that the CIA's improper search of a stand-alone computer network established for Congress has been referred to the Justice Department. The issue stems from the investigation into allegations of CIA abuse in a Bush-era detention and interrogation program. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (11 Mar 2014)
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