Policy & Strategy

Intel panel pushes back interrogation vote

The Senate Intelligence Committee has pushed back a vote on its controversial report on Bush-era interrogation techniques until next week, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Tuesday.

Feinstein said she delayed the vote because some members asked for more time to read over the latest version of the 6,300-page report, which examines waterboarding and other interrogation methods used during the George W. Bush administration.

“A couple members want to spend more time with it,” Feinstein told reporters after the Intelligence Committee met on Tuesday. She said the report did not come up in the meeting.

{mosads}The exact day of the committee vote remains up in the air. Senators are weighing whether to declassify the executive summary of the interrogation report, which would likely reopen the debate over the controversial techniques.

The report has fueled a major fight between Democrats on the Intelligence panel and the CIA itself, as both sides have accused the other of breaking the law over an internal CIA review of the interrogation program.

The committee is finalizing its report, which was opposed by all but one Republican on the panel, when the first draft was completed in December 2012.

If the committee votes to declassify the report, it would then work with the CIA and the White House to determine what could be made public and what would be redacted.

Republicans, who did not work with Democrats on the investigation, are likely to vote against declassifying the report.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), a member of the Intelligence panel, said on Tuesday that the Republicans are weighing putting out a minority report that would point out “some of the things we find less than factual.”

Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the committee who caucuses with Democrats, said he still had not decided how he would vote. He said he would make a decision based on “whether I think it’s the right thing.”

The CIA has also raised issues with the accuracy of the Intelligence Committee’s findings, but Democratic senators say the CIA’s internal review contradicts the agency’s public statements.

Earlier this month, Feinstein accused the CIA of violating the Constitution and separation of powers by searching the Intelligence Committee’s computers to determine if they contained the CIA’s internal review.

The CIA’s former acting general counsel, meanwhile, made a criminal referral to the Justice Department accusing Senate staffers of illicitly removing the document from the CIA’s facility in Northern Virginia.

The White House, which had tried to stay out of the CIA-Senate fight, has said it would like to see the Senate’s report declassified.

CIA Director John Brennan said in a message to CIA employees last week that the agency would work with the committee to quickly review the report for declassification.

— This story was updated at 4:24 p.m.

Tags Central Intelligence Agency Dianne Feinstein Senate Intelligence Committee
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