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 »
A Russian government think tank run by Putin loyalists "developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system." Two confidential documents from the Putin-backed Institute for Strategic Studies, obtained by U.S. intelligence, provide "the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election."
"The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification" to monitor Carter Page, who was then a defense adviser to the Trump campaign. "The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks."
"The Air Force is set to deploy its high-tech, fifth-generation F-35A fighter jets to Europe this weekend as part of an effort to assure U.S. allies there who are worried about Russian aggression." The new, state-of-the-art fighters will train with European air units. "The Pentagon noted that the deployment had been long planned, meaning it was not a reaction to recent increasing tensions between the United States and Russia," although a statement noted the move is part of the "European Reassurance Initiative," which began three years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.