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Reports: CIA denies Senate Judiciary access to material on Russian interference

Reports: CIA denies Senate Judiciary access to material on Russian interference
© Greg Nash

The CIA has allegedly rejected the Senate Judiciary Committee's request to access certain information about Russian interference in last year's election.

“We were turned down,” said Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinHillicon Valley: Intelligence agency gathers US smartphone location data without warrants, memo says | Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian hack on DOJ, courts | Airbnb offers Biden administration help with vaccine distribution Democrats seek answers on impact of Russian cyberattack on Justice Department, Courts Schumer becomes new Senate majority leader MORE (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the panel, according to Monday reports.

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Feinstein called the agency's decision a disappointment, but said the "issue isn't finished."

Panel Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyOn The Money: Treasury announces efforts to help people get stimulus payments | Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury | Judge sets ground rules for release of Trump taxes Senate panel unanimously advances Yellen nomination for Treasury Finance Committee vote on Yellen nomination scheduled for Friday MORE (R-Iowa) and Feinstein had asked CIA Director Mike PompeoMike PompeoWhite House installs new leadership at federally-funded international broadcasters US carrier group enters South China Sea amid tensions between China, Taiwan Biden can hold China accountable for human rights abuses by divesting now MORE to view the same material related to the ongoing Russia probe that the agency had shared with the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The CIA ultimately declined the request of leaders of Judiciary panel. 

Feinstein said the documents relate to matters of obstruction of justice, which fall within the panel's jurisdiction.

Both the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees have signaled an interest in social media companies' possible role in pushing messages planted by foreign agents who aimed to sway the election. 

“There should be a hearing on this issue, because it relates directly to our oversight of the Department of Justice and the FBI, and these ads raise profound and pressing questions that have to be explored so the public is aware of this threat,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Judiciary panel, according to Politico.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is also leading an independent investigation on behalf of the Justice Department in addition to several congressional panels who are looking into where and how Russia meddled in the presidential election.