Today, Rep. Adam Schiff, a senior Member of the House Intelligence Committee, released the following statement after a speech delivered in the Senate by Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein:
“The House and Senate Intelligence Committees have long worked closely with the Intelligence Community to ensure that not only are we protecting our country from possible attack, but also ensuring that our civil liberties and principles endure, even when we face threats at home and abroad. Now, the delicate balance between the Intelligence Community and its congressional overseers has been threatened by what can only be described as unacceptable interference with the constitutionally crucial oversight mission of the Intelligence Committees.
“Senator Feinstein’s speech today about possible abuse – over a report critical of the detention and interrogation program of the CIA – raises deeply troubling concerns about CIA conduct in connection with this investigation. For the past six years I have served on the Committee, my colleagues and I have enjoyed a strong working relationship with the Intelligence Community, but that relationship is undermined if we cannot receive access to any and all documents necessary for our investigations, and expect timely and complete answers from those we oversee. And that relationship requires trust – in both directions – for the process to be effective. That trust would be seriously eroded if CIA attempted to withhold information critical of its interrogation program, or improperly tried to scrutinize the Senate committee’s database or work product.
“It is also essential that we do not let these allegations obscure the larger issue of whether Americans deserve a full accounting of the detention and interrogations under taken after September 11th. It is a continuing source of frustration that even Members of the House Intelligence Committee have been refused access to the Senate’s report. Not only should access be provided to Members of Congress, but a declassified version should be made available to the public so we can have a full and informed debate.”