OPIOID SERIES:

Feinstein: Cheney told CIA not to brief Congress

Former Vice President Dick Cheney told the CIA not to brief Congress on a classified CIA program, Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate panel punts Mueller protection bill to next week Steyer endorses de León in bid to unseat Feinstein Amid struggle for votes, GOP plows ahead with Cabinet picks MORE said Sunday.

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Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence panel, said Cheney’s decision to order the CIA not to brief Congress was a “big problem” and that Congress should have been told about what she said was a sensitive program.

“I think you weaken your case when you go outside the law,” Feinstein said on "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." If the appropriate committees had been informed, Congress could have made judgments about whether the program was working, she said.

“That was not the case because we were kept in the dark. That’s something that should never, ever happen again,” she said.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate confirms Trump’s pick to lead NASA DOJ denies reports judicial nominee once called illegal immigrants 'maggots' Overnight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign MORE (R-Texas) also said Congress should have been told of the program, but he criticized Democrats for trying to “out” Cheney as responsible.

“Thus unfortunately sounds like a new theme where they still want to blame the Bush administration for the economy and other things,” Cornyn said.

CIA Director Leon Panetta informed the intelligence committees of the program on June 24, and said he was canceling the program, Feinstein said.