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.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) (L) speaks with reporters after the tax compromise vote December 15, 2010 in Washington, DC.The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 81-19, moving the vote to the House of Representatives. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
National Journal
Jordain Carney
Add to Briefcase
Jordain Carney
March 13, 2014, 1:32 p.m.

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.

What We're Following See More »
THE PLAN ALL ALONG?
Manchin Drops Objections, Clearing Way for Spending Deal
12 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate standstill over a stopgap spending bill appeared headed toward a resolution on Friday night. Senators who were holding up the measure said votes are expected later in the evening. West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin had raised objections to the continuing resolution because it did not include a full year's extension of retired coal miners' health benefits," but Manchin "said he and other coal state Democrats agreed with Senate Democratic leaders during a caucus meeting Thursday that they would not block the continuing resolution, but rather use the shutdown threat as a way to highlight the health care and pension needs of the miners."

Source:
UNCLEAR WHAT CAUSED CHANGE OF HEART
Giuliani Out of Running For State
14 hours ago
BREAKING

Donald Trump transition team announced Friday afternoon that top supporter Rudy Giuliani has taken himself out of the running to be in Trump's cabinet, though CNN previously reported that it was Trump who informed the former New York City mayor that he would not be receiving a slot. While the field had seemingly been narrowed last week, it appears to be wide open once again, with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the current favorite.

Source:
ALSO VICE-CHAIR OF TRUMP’S TRANSITION TEAM
Trump Taps Rep. McMorris Rodgers for Interior Secretary
20 hours ago
BREAKING
SHUTDOWN LOOMING
House Approves Spending Bill
1 days ago
BREAKING

The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.

HEADS TO OBAMA
Senate Approves Defense Bill
1 days ago
THE LATEST

The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login