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Spying Squabble Spurs Approval of CIA's New Top Lawyer Spying Squabble Spurs Approval of CIA's New Top Lawyer

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Defense

Spying Squabble Spurs Approval of CIA's New Top Lawyer

The vote comes amid growing tensions between the agency and the Senate over alleged hacking.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the CIA have been embroiled in a public feud.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The CIA's new top lawyer may have a spat between the intelligence-gathering agency and a Senate committee to thank for her confirmation.

Senators voted 95-4 Thursday to confirm Caroline Krass's nomination to be the next general counsel, with Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., citing an interrogation report at the center of the current feud as part of his reason for lifting his hold.

"We need to correct the record on the CIA's coercive detention and interrogation program and declassify the Senate Intelligence Committee's exhaustive study of it. I released my hold on Caroline Krass's nomination today and voted for her to help change the direction of the agency," Udall said.

 

Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., accused the agency of possibly violating the constitution over allegations that it hacked computers used by committee staffers as they worked on a long-anticipated report about the agency's interrogation tactics. CIA Director John Brennan has denied those accusations.

Feinstein also called out Robert Eatinger, the CIA's acting general counsel, from the Senate floor Tuesday for sending a criminal referral to the Justice Department about allegations that committee staffers may have violated the law by removing classified documents from the CIA.

"I view the acting general counsel's referral as a potential effort to intimidate this staff—and I am not taking it lightly," Feinstein said.

Krass told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee last year during her confirmation hearing that Congress shouldn't be given access to documents that oversee CIA activities, including its controversial drone program.

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