Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 4, 2015

Senate’s Top Law Enforcement Officer Confirms Progress on Investigation Into CIA Spying

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance W. Gainer said Friday that his staff has “absolutely” begun investigating the controversy involving the CIA and the Intelligence Committee.

The investigation — disclosed by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a letter sent to CIA Director John O. Brennan late Wednesday — will be one of Gainer’s last tasks before he leaves Capitol Hill for the private sector at the end of April.

Gainer confirmed during a phone interview with CQ Roll Call that his office is proceeding with instructions to review computers used by committee staffers to investigate the CIA’s interrogation techniques and detainee practices during the George W. Bush administration.

“Some of it will be done in-house and some of it will be contracted out,” he said of the investigation. “It’s not the first time that we’ve done forensic work on a computer, remember … that’s a large part of our organization.”

As sergeant-at-arms, Gainer serves as the chamber’s top law enforcement officer, overseeing all aspects of security, including cyber threats.

“But, there are experts who do this day-in and day-out, and there is no doubt that we’ll get help from others on this,” he continued.

Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., first revealed her suspicions in a stirring March 11 floor speech, in which she alleged the CIA had interfered at the secret facility set up in Northern Virginia for the committee’s investigation.

Reid has also raised concerns about the broader implications of the CIA’s actions, a fact he mentioned in his letter.

Gainer said he spends a “substantial portion” of each day on security issues — coordinating with the House, the Capitol Police and other federal agencies — and this investigation is his newest task.

Comments (26)

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  1. Standandfight

    March 22, 2014
    8:10 p.m.

    How could they put Harry Reid and intelligence in the same sentence?

  2. Matt D.

    March 23, 2014
    6:03 a.m.

    Over time, democratic processes help useful ideas percolate from the minority’s opinion, through the populace, and into the majority’s view.

  3. Igor Shafarevich

    March 24, 2014
    2:22 p.m.

    Arguably, the regard for responsibility has fallen low enough to undermine the very freedom upon which our prosperity and civilization rest.

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    March 24, 2014
    10:35 p.m.

    Mad as Hell
    I want all the misdeeds in this administration to be further pursued. Especially the IRS scandal. They have been harassing me every year for 13 years. True. I am an 83 years old widow.

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    March 26, 2014
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