13 March 2014
CIA Robert Eatinger Eyeball
CIA Lawyer at Center of Computer Snooping Clash
WASHINGTON March 12, 2014 (AP)
By STEPHEN BRAUN Associated Press
The top CIA lawyer accused by the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee
of trying to intimidate the panel over its investigation into secret prisons
and brutal interrogations of terrorism suspects was himself involved in the
controversial programs, cited more than 1,600 times in the Senate's unpublished
investigative report, according to the panel's chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
On Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that CIA acting
general counsel Robert Eatinger also was one of two senior spy agency officials
who informed administration lawyers earlier this year about plans to file
a criminal complaint against Senate Intelligence Committee staffers. The
CIA suspects the aides improperly gained access to a classified CIA report
on the George W. Bush-era secret prisons and harsh interrogations overseen
by the spy agency. Carney said CIA Director John Brennan also notified the
White House about the decision.
Until Feinstein's extraordinary Senate speech Tuesday in which she said the
CIA was possibly trying to intimidate committee staff, Eatinger was little
known outside a small cadre of highly specialized national security lawyers.
He has maintained a low profile in a legal career that has spanned two decades
at the CIA and in the Navy. But Feinstein's remarkable accusations instantly
made Eatinger famous or infamous over a simmering constitutional
dispute that threatens to engulf two branches of the government.
Eatinger's criminal complaint to Justice boomeranged when Feinstein rose
in the Senate chamber Tuesday to lambaste the CIA for what she described
as quietly removing documents the agency had earlier provided to Senate
investigators, monitoring committee staffers and undermining congressional
authority. Feinstein lashed out at Eatinger personally though not
by name in accusing the CIA lawyer of "a potential effort to intimidate"
committee aides and of providing "inaccurate information" to the Justice
Eatinger did not return telephone calls from The Associated Press seeking
comment Tuesday, and the CIA did not respond to questions about the counsel.
CIA Director John Brennan said the agency was "not in any way, shape or form
trying to thwart this report's progression, release." But Brennan made no
comments about Feinstein's characterization of the agency's top lawyer.