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Feinstein shifts tone, accuses CIA of interfering with Intelligence Committee investigation

APTOPIX CIA Investigations.JPEG

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. talks to reporters as she leaves the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, after saying that the CIA's improper search of a stand-alone computer network established for Congress has been referred to the Justice Department. The issue stems from the investigation into allegations of CIA abuse in a Bush-era detention and interrogation program. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (The Associated Press)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's outspoken criticism of what she's calling "CIA interference" in a congressional investigation is in sharp contrast to her defense of an intelligence-gathering community that some say trample on civil liberties.

Feinstein chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.

She has fretted that the public was losing confidence in the intelligence community because of a string of disclosures that she said often lacked important context. In particular, she has defended the National Security Agency's collection of massive amounts of phone records, revealed in detail by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden

Now, the California Democrat has turned critical, claiming Congress was the target of the intelligence-gathering.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which often has been a critic of Feinstein, praised her defense of "the constitutional principle of separation of powers."

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