For John, BLUF: When a US Senator goes after the CIA it is time to pay attention. Nothing to see here; just move along.
Perhaps the most important fight ongoing in DC is the one between the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and the Central Intelligence Agency. The SSCI Chair, Senator Dianne Feinstein, has laid out the issues as she sees them and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency has been dismissive. Here is a summary from The Lawfare Blog:
As we’ve been explaining, there’s drama in the U.S. Senate. It’s not just your usual partisan bickering, either. Yesterday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D–CA) took to the Senate floor to accuse the CIA of searching through computers used by staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Washington Post has more; and NPR has a great breakdown of the circumstances that led Feinstein, the Committee’s Chair, to make such a strong show yesterday. According to NPR, the Senator’s impassioned remarks have caused a split♠ in the Senate between those who take her accusations very seriously (like Rep Mike Rogers (R-Mich)) and those who are much more skeptical (like Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl). Keep returning to Lawfare for more analysis on this developing story.I am not a big booster of Senator Feinstein, who is of the opposite party and who has views on how to move the nation forward that differ from mine. (And, unlike Senator Barbara Boxer, is from up north and not Southern California. Senator Boxer lives in Rancho Mirage—my Mother lived there for a while.) On the other hand, Senator Feinstein strikes me as someone with respect for the US Senate and its rights and responsibilities. I take her going public very seriously.
Here is a situation review, at The Lawfare Blog, by Chris Donesa, who was Chief Counsel for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2004-2013, the SSCI's opposite number in the House of Representatives.
This is worth paying attention to.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Interesting that the "split" description was all about the Senate Minority. What about the Senate Majority?