Issa Rips CIA Over Feinstein Spying Allegations: 'Treason'
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said he is incensed about allegations the CIA spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee, calling it “treason.”
“I think Senator Feinstein is as outraged as anyone and I share her outrage. I think the violation of the Constitutional separation of powers should be an offense of the highest level—virtually treason,” Issa told Breitbart News on Tuesday.
“Spying on the executive branch—spying on Congress or violating the separation of powers as to the Supreme Court or as to Congress is effectively treason. Treason—it’s written up in the Constitution,” Issa said of Feinstein’s revelations, adding, “I don’t know who gave the orders, but to spy on other branches is in fact a constitutional violation at the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and certainly should cause the removal of anyone involved.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, Tuesday accused the spy agency of secretly examining her committee’s computers and taking documents relating to the CIA’s interrogation methods on terror suspects who were held overseas after the 9/11 attacks.
CIA Chief John Brennan disputed Feinstein during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations saying that, “when the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.”
According to reports, Feinstein is seeking out the FBI to investigate the matter further. Feinstein’s colleague Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) told Breitbart News she supports Feinstein, saying she thought, “it’s really essential that we have a division of powers or separation of powers here so that the Senate can do its oversight.”
Congress and the executive branch have rarely been at odds in such a heated way as they are now. Last month, Issa questioned Deputy Attorney General James Cole as to whether the NSA collects phone records of congressional members and their staffs, to which Cole responded, "We probably do, Mr. Congressman. But we're not allowed to look at any of those, however, unless we have reasonable, articulable suspicion that those numbers are related to a known terrorist threat."
House Democrats also said they were shocked at the revelations coming out of Feinstein’s office.
“I don’t know how much is based in fact, but it’s a terrible thing, when you cross that line of separation of (powers). A lot of things people can complain about with our government, but the balance of power is so very important,” said Rep. Charlie Rangel (D – NY), who was hoping the allegations were not true.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D – MO) agreed, telling Breitbart News, “It’s frightening if it’s true. I think that most Americans would be absolutely outraged to find out that some of the freedoms we thought we were experiencing were sabotaged, so we have to wait and see if it’s true.”