CIA Says It ‘Believes In’ Congressional Oversight In Response To Senate Spying Charges

“The CIA believes in the necessity of effective, strong and bipartisan congressional oversight,” CIA spokesman Dean Boyd says.

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Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

WASHINGTON — A CIA spokesman Thursday refused to respond to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s charge that the agency was attempting to “intimidate” Senate investigators, saying only that the CIA “believes in” the necessity of congressional oversight.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder Thursday, Reid flatly accused the CIA of attempting to stifle Senate oversight when it referred to his agency criminal allegations that Senate staff had illegally obtained agency documents.

The “CIA has not only interfered with the lawful congressional oversight of its activities, but has also seemingly attempted to intimidate its overseers by subjecting them to criminal investigation. These developments strike at the heart of the constitutional separation of powers,” Reid wrote in his letter. Reid also raised conflict of interest concerns, noting that the CIA’s acting general counsel himself has been subject to congressional inquiries.

Asked to respond to Reid’s letter, CIA spokesman Dean Boyd provided the following response to BuzzFeed:

“CIA Director Brennan is committed to resolving all outstanding issues related to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation report and to strengthening relations between the Agency and Congress. The CIA believes in the necessity of effective, strong and bipartisan congressional oversight. We are a far better organization because of congressional oversight, and we will do whatever we can to be responsive to the elected representatives of the American people.”

Aram Roston contributed reporting.

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