CIA director denies agency spied on Congress - New York News

CIA director denies agency spied on Congress

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By JAMES ROSEN | Fox News Chief Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (FOX NEWS) -- U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and chair of the Intelligence Committee, accused the Central Intelligence Agency of improperly monitoring computers used by congressional staffers who were reviewing CIA documents as part of their probe of Bush-era interrogation techniques.

"I have grave concerns that the CIA search may have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the United States Constitution," she said Tuesday.

But top CIA officials deny the agency spied on Congress, alleging, in turn, that staff members on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence may themselves have improperly accessed thousands of classified documents on the computers in question.

Speaking at a think tank forum in Washington, CIA Director John Brennan directly rebutted Feinstein's charges.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," he said. "I mean, we wouldn't do that."

Brennan also rejected claims that the agency is a rogue elephant, operating beyond supervision.

"As long as I am director of the CIA I will do whatever I can to be responsive to the elected representatives of the American people," he said.

But the credibility of the intelligence community has been weakened over the last year. Feinstein said the latest episode underscores the need for strict controls on America's 16-spy agencies.

"It may have undermined the constitutional framework essential for effective congressional oversight of intelligence activities," the senator said.

Brennan said the authorities will determine whether any CIA personnel, including himself, or any senate staffers acted improperly.

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