Heinrich, Wyden, and Hirono Ask for Straight Answers About Unauthorized CIA Search of Senate Files

CIA Director Brennan Has Refused to Acknowledge Searches of Senate Intelligence Committee Files Were Improper; Senators Ask President to Intervene

Washington, D.C– U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence members, Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), today called on the president and CIA director to finally acknowledge that the CIA’s search of Senate files was improper and will not happen again.

CIA officials secretly searched Senate Intelligence Committee files in January 2014, while the committee was investigating the agency’s use of torture from 2002-2007. Director Brennan repeatedly denied that the search occurred.

While he now concedes the search did take place, Director Brennan has yet to acknowledge that the search was improper, or committed to never again performing such a search. He ignored a request by Heinrich, Wyden, and Hirono last year to make his position clear.

“Unfortunately, despite multiple requests, Director Brennan still has not publicly acknowledged that this search was improper, or even made a commitment that the CIA will not conduct such searches in the future.  This is wholly unacceptable behavior in a democracy,” the senators wrote in a letter to the president today. 

“We believe that it is necessary for you to address this matter directly, and to ensure that senior officials in your administration recognize the importance of adhering to the rule of law.  We ask that you instruct Director Brennan to acknowledge that the CIA’s unauthorized search of Senate files was improper and will not be repeated.” 

Full text of the letter is available here.