INTL

Democrats Still Not Satisfied With CIA Disclosures About Gina Haspel
Agency making more available in a classified setting

Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico has joined with colleagues Ron Wyden and Dianne Feinstein in pressing the CIA to declassify more information on deputy director Gina Haspel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The CIA will be providing senators with an opportunity to review more classified information about President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the agency in a secure room deep beneath the Capitol.

But some senators are not convinced about the commitment to transparency about nominee Gina Haspel, the current deputy director who spent much of her career serving in clandestine capacities.

CIA Releases Report Finding Haspel Not at Fault in Destruction of Torture Tapes
But some key Senate Democrats now want more answers

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks with reporters after the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol on March 20, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Central Intelligence Agency released an unclassified but partially redacted version of an internal memo Friday finding “no fault” on the part of current director nominee Gina Haspel regarding the destruction of infamous tapes.

The tapes showed the use of harsh interrogation tactics on detainees who had been subject to rendition at so-called “black sites.” Clarity about Haspel’s involvement is one key to the deputy director’s chances for Senate confirmation to be the director.

Intel Committee Democrats Renew Calls to Declassify Parts of Haspel’s Record
Members express concerns about public information campaign supporting CIA director nominee

Sens. Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich joined Dianne Feinstein on a letter calling for declassification of information about Gina Haspel, who has been nominated to replace Mike Pompeo as the head of the CIA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A trio of Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are signaling they have seen problematic classified information about CIA director nominee Gina Haspel’s career at the agency.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Ron Wyden of Oregon made the assertion in a letter sent Friday to CIA Director Mike Pompeo that was circulated publicly on Monday.

McCain Presses Trump’s CIA Pick on Her Involvement With Torture Program
Says techniques ‘produced false and misleading information’

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., pressed President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency for her role in the agency's torture programs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file)

Rooney Adopts New GOP Line: House Investigations Have ‘Lost All Credibility’
House Intelligence Committee to close Russia investigation

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., arrives with Alabama GOP Rep. Martha Roby on the West Front of the Capitol before Donald Trump was sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional committees can no longer conduct credible investigations without poisoning them with partisan politics, Rep. Tom Rooney said.

“We’ve gone completely off the rails, and now we’re just basically a political forum for people to leak information to drive the day’s news,” the Florida Republican said in an interview Monday with CNN. “We’ve lost all credibility, and we’re going to issue probably two different reports, unfortunately. ... In that regard, that’s why I called for the investigation to end.”

House Intel Republicans Say 'No Collusion' Between Trump and Russia
Release short summary of findings before sharing report with panel Democrats

Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, became the lead Republican on the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee disagree with the position of every U.S. intelligence agency that Russia wanted Donald Trump to be elected president.

The House Intelligence Committee Republicans said in a short public summary document for a more than 150 page report that they would be, concurring, “with the Intelligence Community Assessment’s judgments, except with respect to [Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] supposed preference for candidate Trump.”

Not Even Richard Burr’s Son Could Avoid Security Clearance Review Backlog
Intelligence chairman made point during oversight hearing on clearance process

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr said his own son faced security clearance review delays. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr told a story at Wednesday’s hearing about the security clearance process of a 22 year-old seeking employment with the Department of Defense roughly a decade ago.

It took that young man almost a year to get through the clearance hurdles. He was the North Carolina Republican’s son.

Reps. Gowdy, Goodlatte Call for Special Counsel on DOJ Bias, FISA Abuse
Request stems from allegations in Nunes FISA memo

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., above, sent a letter with Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate potential FISA abuses. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Republican chairmen of powerful House committees have asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel to investigate “potential bias” within the FBI in 2016 and 2017 as the bureau obtained surveillance warrants related to the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

“The public interest requires the appointment of a Special Counsel” to investigate “certain decisions made and not made by the Department of Justice and FBI in 2016 and 2017” due to potential political conflicts of interest, Reps. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina and Bob Goodlatte of Virginia wrote in a letter to Sessions and Rosenstein on Tuesday.

Podcast: Russia Meddles, Trump Fiddles, Midterms in Peril
CQ on Congress, Episode 93

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, head of U.S. Cyber Command and the NSA, says he has received no directive from the president to counter Russian efforts to interfere in U.S. elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the head of U.S. Cyber Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee this week that the Defense Department believes Russia will target state election systems, which tally votes, during the 2018 election. But CQ cybersecurity reporter Gopal Ratnam says that neither Congress, nor the Trump administration, has done anything to help states shore up their defenses.

 

Rooney Says Hicks Was Set up with a ‘Bulls--- Question’
White House communications director announced her departure after admitting she told ‘white lies’ for Trump

Hope Hicks, aide to President Donald Trump, announced this week she would leave the administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Tom Rooney said that outgoing White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was set up by a “bulls---” question from a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee.

The Florida Republican told CBS News it was that  question that led to Hicks saying she told “white lies” on behalf of the White House, the Tampa Bay Times reported.