Wyden Calls for Independent Counsel if DOJ Does Not Prosecute CIA; Feinstein Objects to Obama Redaction of Torture Report

On July 10, the Department of Justice announced that it would not pursue accusations that the CIA spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee and allegations that committee staff slipped classified documents from a secure agency facility. Now, on Friday, Aug. 1, it has been revealed that the CIA Inspector General concluded that the allegations against the committee staff were baseless, but that the allegations against the CIA for spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee were well-founded. Moreover, it has been revealed that the Department of Justice knew about these conclusions when it stated that it would not pursue charges in either case. Furthermore, even after the results of the IG investigation have been released, the DOJ has continued to refuse to investigate the CIA spying on the Senate.

Senator Ron Wyden has called for the Department of Justice to reconsider whether criminal charges should be brought against the CIA. In the absence of action by the DOJ, Wyden said the Senate should seek the appointment of an independent counsel.

Meanwhile, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that the amount of material blacked out of the Senate Torture Report by the White House had been so extensive that “We need additional time to understand the basis for these redactions and determine their justification. Therefore the report will be held until further notice and released when that process is completed.”

At the same time, the American Civil Liberties Union called for federal prosecutors to conduct a full investigation into potential crimes by C.I.A. personnel.

“It is hard to imagine a greater threat to the Constitution’s system of checks and balances than having the CIA spy on the computers used by the very Senate staff carrying out the Senate’s constitutional duty of oversight over the executive branch,” said Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel in the ACLU’s Washington office. Yesterday, Barack Obama stated: “I have full confidence in John Brennan.”

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