July 10, 2014

Wyden: CIA Still Must Answer Questions About Searching Senate Files

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., issued the following statement in response to the Justice Department’s decision not to investigate either Senate Intelligence Committee investigators who discovered an internal CIA review of interrogation records, or CIA officials who searched Senate files to find out if the Intelligence Committee had obtained that review: 

“I’m glad to hear that the Justice Department won’t attempt to prosecute Senate staff for simply doing their jobs. 

The CIA still has some very serious questions to answer about the unauthorized search of Senate files and whether CIA officials believe they have the authority to do this again.  Last month officials from the FBI, NSA and ODNI testified that it would not be appropriate for their agencies to conduct a search of Senate files without external authorization or approval, and in my view it is not acceptable for the CIA to do this either.  Given the intelligence community’s unfortunate history of attempting to undermine external oversight by surveilling members of Congress – such as the recently-revealed NSA surveillance of Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker during the Vietnam war – it is critical that the Senate get straight answers to the questions that the CIA has been asked.”