Reid charged that CIA officials have conducted a “transparent attempt to intimidate the [Senate Intelligence] Committee and undermine its oversight of the Agency."Reid has also ordered Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer to review the computers used by staff in the Senate Intelligence Committee in investigating CIA torture, asking CIA Director John Brennan to provide access to those computers to provide evidence of Brennan's contention that Intelligence staff illegally obtained CIA documents related to the torture probe.
"The CIA’s decision to access the resources and work product of the legislative branch without permission is absolutely indefensible, regardless of the context. This action has serious separation of powers implications," Reid warned. […]
In his letter, Reid points to the decision by the CIA’s acting general counsel to refer criminal complaints to DOJ against Senate staff as an act of intimidation, arguing that “the allegation that Senate committee staff who have no technical training somehow hacked into the CIA’s highly secure classified networks is so absurd as to be comical.”
In his message to Brennan, Reid rejected as "patently absurd" suggestions that committee staffers improperly accessed classified information about the agency and the interrogation program. "To my knowledge, the CIA has produced no evidence to support its claims that Senate committee staff who have no technical training somehow hacked into the CIA's highly secure classified networks," Reid said.Reid's actions Wednesday indicate just how seriously Senate leadership is taking the CIA's interference in the committee's efforts to conduct oversight. For his part, Holder says that Justice is reviewing the CIA's allegations that committee staff improperly obtained documents, but did not say whether the agency will investigate. Reid's letter to Holder is essentially a challenge to let him know that the Senate will not back away from this conflict.