SEN. FEINSTEIN (D-CA): Obama White House Ordered CIA to Spy on Congress, an Impeachable Offense

Where are those styrofoam Grecian columns when you need them?

Senate Democrats are openly accusing the White House of ordering the CIA to spy on Congress during a Senate Intelligence Committee investigation.

As Rachel Maddow so aptly put it, this is “death of the Republic stuff.” The congressional committee tasked with overseeing the executive branch and our intelligence agencies is being spied upon and their investigations “interfered” with, and it’s coming straight from the White House, according to top Senate Democrat and Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein…

Say, I wonder if Feinstein is funded by the Koch brothers?

The Washington Post described Feinstein’s tirade, but omitted some key facets of the story.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that the situation amounted to attempted intimidation of congressional investigators, adding: “I am not taking it lightly.”

She confirmed that an internal agency investigation of the action has been referred to the Justice Department for possible criminal prosecution. And she said that the CIA appears to have violated the Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches and seizures, as well as various federal laws and a presidential executive order that prevents the agency from conducting domestic searches and surveillance.

She has sought an apology and recognition that the CIA search of the committee’s computers was inappropriate, she said. “I have received neither,” she added.

MSNBC’s Adam Serwer added the information the Post was unwilling to mention:

Indeed, Feinstein’s website relates the blockbuster aspect of the story:

In May of 2010, the committee staff noticed that [certain] documents that had been provided for the committee’s review were no longer accessible. Staff approached the CIA personnel at the offsite location, who initially denied that documents had been removed. CIA personnel then blamed information technology personnel, who were almost all contractors, for removing the documents themselves without direction or authority. And then the CIA stated that the removal of the documents was ordered by the White House. When the committee approached the White House, the White House denied giving the CIA any such order…

…When the Internal Panetta Review documents disappeared from the committee’s computer system, this suggested once again that the CIA had removed documents already provided to the committee, in violation of CIA agreements and White House assurances that the CIA would cease such activities…

… I have grave concerns that the CIA’s search may well have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution, including the Speech and Debate clause. It may have undermined the constitutional framework essential to effective congressional oversight of intelligence activities or any other government function.

Oh, now they’re worried about the Constitution.

Welcome to the party, pals.

Hat tip: BadBlue News

Doug Ross @ Journal

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