Senator Mark Udall has written a blistering letter to President Barack Obama, claiming he knew of the “unprecedented action” of CIA spying on members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which had prepared a critical 6,000-page report of torture policies.
“As you are aware, the CIA has recently taken unprecedented action against the Committee in relation to the internal CIA review, and I find these actions to be incredibly troubling for the Committee’s oversight responsibilities and for our democracy,” wrote Senator Udall. “It is essential that the Committee be able to do its oversight work — consistent with our constitutional principle of the separation of powers — without the CIA posing impediments or obstacles as it is today.”
After fallout from the New York Times exposé, more senators expressed measured outrage. Senator Patrick Leahy said he was “deeply concerned” about the reports.
According to the Times, “The action, which Mr. Udall did not describe, took place after C.I.A. officials came to suspect that congressional staff members had gained unauthorized access to agency documents during the course of the Intelligence Committee’s years-long investigation into the detention and interrogation program.”
Much of the report, and the agency’s response, is classified. The Guardian further notes that the CIA’s actions may have been illegal under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the anti-hacker law normally applied to citizens.
Read the original NYT article here and Senator Udall’s letter here.