CIA Director John Brennan has confirmed that five CIA employees have, indeed, “improperly accessed” computers of Senate staffers and the computer network that was set up to help the Senate Intelligence Committee review the CIA Detention and Interrogation Program and compile a report.
The alleged breach was investigated by CIA’s Inspector General David Buckley, who shared with the Committee that the agency’s initial claim that Senate staff has accessed protected classified documents was based on inaccurate information.
He also said that they discovered that five CIA employees have accessed the aforementioned dedicated network, and have searched through and read some Senate staffers emails for evidence.
The CIA employees in question were two lawyers and three information technology specialists.
It is unknown who has ordered it in the first place, but internal sources have revealed to McClatchy that these employees thought they were authorized to make the incursion.
CIA chief Brennan has apologized to the Senate Intelligence Committee for the intrusion, but while the head of the Committee Sen. Dianne Feinstein accepted the apology and said his order to investigate the intrusion was a step in the right direction, Committee members Senators Mark Udall and Martin Heinrich want to see Brennan removed from his position.
“The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate Intelligence Committee computers. This grave misconduct not only is illegal, but it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences,” Udall stated, and said he would call for Brennan’s resignation.
They also wanted to know why, when Feinstein first publicly accused the CIA of the intrusion in March, Brennan adamantly refuted the charges.
The Committee’s report on the questionable CIA detention and interrogation tactics is expected to be released soon.