What was a behind-the-scenes dispute in Washington just got a lot more public.
DIANNE FEINSTEIN: "I have grave concerns that the CIA search may well have violated the separation of powers principles." (Via MSNBC)
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is accusing the CIA of, well, spying. She says it secretly searched a Senate computer network and in doing so, possibly even violated federal law.
This all started back in 2009, when Senate staff members were reviewing sensitive documents in a secure room set up by the CIA. At the time, they were working on an in-depth report detailing Bush-era interrogation and detention practices. (Via RT)
Previous reports suggested those staffers got their hands on internal agency documents that made the CIA look pretty bad. (Via The New York Times)
According to Feinstein, here's what happened next: CIA officials, she says, searched the computers and removed documents they believed the panel had already accessed but wasn't authorized to see.
FEINSTEIN: "The CIA just went and searched the committee's computers." (Via C-SPAN)
She's demanded an apology from the CIA, but it's director, John Brennan, is denying any such spying ever took place.
BRENNAN: "As far as the allegations of CIA hacking into Senate computers ... nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn't do that. I mean that's, that's, that's just beyond the scope of reason." (Via Al Jazeera)
According to Feinstein, the CIA has referred the matter to the Justice Department for possible criminal investigation.