Republican Congressman Darrell Issa On Allegations That the CIA Spied on Intelligence Committee: “Treason”
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted. — U.S. Constitution – Article 3 Section 3
Does the CIA spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee rise to the level of treason? Darrell Issa seems to think it’s in the ballpark
“I think Senator Feinstein is as outraged as anyone and I share her outrage. I think the violation of the Constitutional separation of powers should be an offense of the highest level–virtually treason,” Issa told Breitbart News on Tuesday.
“Spying on the executive branch–spying on Congress or violating the separation of powers as to the Supreme Court or as to Congress is effectively treason. Treason–it’s written up in the Constitution,” Issa said of Feinstein’s revelations, adding, “I don’t know who gave the orders, but to spy on other branches is in fact a constitutional violation at the level of high crimes and misdemeanors and certainly should cause the removal of anyone involved.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, Tuesday accused the spy agency of secretly examining her committee’s computers and taking documents relating to the CIA’s interrogation methods on terror suspects who were held overseas after the 9/11 attacks.
CIA Chief John Brennan disputed Feinstein during a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations saying that, “when the facts come out on this, I think a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.”
According to reports, Feinstein is seeking out the FBI to investigate the matter further. Feinstein’s colleague Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) told Breitbart News she supports Feinstein, saying she thought, “it’s really essential that we have a division of powers or separation of powers here so that the Senate can do its oversight.”
Congress and the executive branch have rarely been at odds in such a heated way as they are now. Last month, Issa questioned Deputy Attorney General James Cole as to whether the NSA collects phone records of congressional members and their staffs, to which Cole responded, “We probably do, Mr. Congressman. But we’re not allowed to look at any of those, however, unless we have reasonable, articulable suspicion that those numbers are related to a known terrorist threat.”
House Democrats also said they were shocked at the revelations coming out of Feinstein’s office.
“I don’t know how much is based in fact, but it’s a terrible thing, when you cross that line of separation of (powers). A lot of things people can complain about with our government, but the balance of power is so very important,” said Rep. Charlie Rangel (D — NY), who was hoping the allegations were not true.
This scandal has been different than all the others because Democrats have been the ones taking the lead on it. Moreover, Democrats have alleged that Barack Obama himself knew this was going on. That being said, does it rise to the level of treason?
I’d say no, BUT, I would say that EVERYONE involved in it committed criminal offenses and deserves to spend time in jail for it. That includes Barack Obama if he ordered it or alternately, learned it was going on and didn’t put a stop to it. The CIA isn’t supposed to be doing any domestic spying and it certainly isn’t supposed to be snooping on Congress. Not only is it illegal and potentially as significant as Watergate, it’s a threat to our republic.