Udall pushes Obama on classified Senate CIA interrogation report

Udall pushes Obama on classified Senate CIA interrogation report
© Greg Nash

Recent events only intensify the urgency to release a classified Senate study on Bush-era CIA interrogations, Sen. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Democratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups MORE (D-Colo.) wrote to President Obama on Thursday. 

Udall thanked Obama for expressing his "commitment" last week to declassifying the report. A public airing, Udall said, would allow the country to move past "this dark chapter" in our history. 

"The American People cannot have faith that the Agency is acting effectively and within the law until the flaws of this program are acknowledged and the CIA's misrepresentations are finally corrected," Udall wrote in his letter. 

Udall has pressed for the report's release and had written to Obama twice before this year, urging his support for declassification. 

In the letter, Udall took issue with CIA Director John Brennan's statement earlier this month that Senate Intelligence Committee claims of agency spying on their computers were nothing but a "spurious allegation."

Brennan's words are concerning because the director "himself admitted on January 15, 2014 to a CIA search of the Committee's computers at the off-site facility," Udall wrote.

In a floor speech last week, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accused the agency of illegally accessing computers used by her committee at a CIA site set up for staffers to cull through documents associated with the President George W. Bush-era interrogation program.

She said the CIA likely violated the Fourth Amendment and other federal laws. The Justice Department is looking into the matter.

Brennan has denied the CIA spied on Senate staffers, and the agency has filed its own criminal complaint with the Justice Department, which Feinstein has called an intimidation tactic.

"These recent events point to the need to declassify as soon as possible the committee's study on the CIA's detention and interrogation program," Udall wrote. "I thank you again for your recent statement in support of its declassification."