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CIA Accused Of Spying On Senate Investigation

Sources tell The New York Times and McClatchy that the CIA monitored Senate aides putting together a report on the spying agency.
Posted at 8:34 PM, Mar 05, 2014

Here's a pretty serious allegation: that the CIA spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee to derail an investigation into the CIA itself. 

That's the claim several sources have relayed to The New York Times and McClatchy: that Senate aides on the committee that's meant to provide civilian oversight of the CIA had been electronically monitored by the spying agency. (Via C-SPAN)

This is the latest development in an bitter struggle between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee over an investigation into the agency's interrogation of prisoners during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It's a highly controversial debate that the Times writes "in essence is a dispute over the separation of powers and congressional oversight of spy agencies." (Via CBS)

Now, the CIA reportedly claims its own confidentiality was breached — that Senators saw classified documents they did not have proper access to. But it's the other accusation here that has the CIA Inspector General looking into the matter: that the CIA monitored Senate computers used to put together the committee report.

And now there's debate over whether President Obama knew about the CIA's snooping — or whether anyone's actually even accusing him of that. This next wrinkle in the story is a bit complicated. (Via The White House / Pete Souza)

Wednesday, Spencer Ackerman at The Guardian reported Colorado Sen. Mark Udall had suggested the president did know, citing a letter from Udall to Obama that reads: "As you are aware, the CIA has recently taken unprecedented action against the committee." Note that "As you are aware."

Glenn Greenwald and other reporters shared the Guardian headline on Twitter, though some, including Brendan Sasso of the National Journal, said Udall's language wasn't clear. Udall might've just been saying Obama was aware of the Senate investigation, not the CIA tampering.

Neither the CIA nor the Senate Intelligence Committee have commented publicly on this story. And as of Wednesday night, Sen. Udall hasn't clarified the language in his letter to the president.