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 »
BOENTE WILL TAKE OVER AS G.C.
Rybicki Departs FBI
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

"FBI Director Chris Wray will change his chief of staff in the coming weeks, multiple sources told CNN Tuesday. James Rybicki, who served Wray's predecessor, James Comey, in the same role, will soon leave, the sources said. Zachary Harmon, a white-collar lawyer, will take on the role." Rybicki played a "role in crafting a statement that exonerated Hillary Clinton in her email server investigation." In related news, the Washington Post reports that "Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia who is acting head of the Justice Department’s national security division, has been selected to be the FBI’s next general counsel."

Source:
WILL BE FIRST SITTING SENATOR TO GIVE BIRTH
Sen. Duckworth Is Expecting a Child
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS
TRUMP TEAM HOPES TO ANSWER IN “HYBRID FORM”
Mueller Seeks to Interview Trump
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is seeking to question President Trump in the coming weeks about his decisions to oust national security adviser Michael Flynn and FBI Director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with his plans. ... The president’s legal team hopes to provide Trump’s testimony in a hybrid form — answering some questions in a face-to-face interview and others in a written statement."

Source:
A BIG GROUP
Davos Delegation Announced
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
FINAL VOTE AT 5 PM
Senate Votes 84-12 to End Debate on Fed Chair Nominee Jay Powell
3 hours ago
THE LATEST
×
×

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