The administration of President Donald Trump has started to return to Congress copies of an extensive 2014 report on the the CIA's interrogation and detention practices, U.S. officials revealed on Friday.
Scoop: The Trump administration is returning copies of report on CIA torture to the Senate. It may never be public https://t.co/zjayGkpPlI
— Amy Fiscus (@amyfiscus) June 2, 2017
Here's Intel Cmte Chairman Burr's stmt on his request to have copies of the CIA torture report returned to his Committee: pic.twitter.com/VNAMxPY46c
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) June 2, 2017
How the Trump White House is moving to keep us in the dark about torture: A look at that New York Times report https://t.co/mEzH7OzA94
— Matthew Cooper (@mattizcoop) June 2, 2017
This seems important. https://t.co/MJpGQfDM2T
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) June 2, 2017
The Trump administration's move means it could be more difficult for the full, 6,700-page report to be made public, because documents held by Congress are exempt from laws requiring government records to eventually be made public.
The White House made the move in response to requests by Sen. Richard Burr, the Senate Intelligence Committee's current Republican chairman, officials said.
In a statement emailed to Reuters, Burr said: "I have directed my staff to retrieve copies of the Congressional study that remain with the Executive Branch agencies and, as the Committee does with all classified and compartmented information, will enact the necessary measures to protect the sensitive sources and methods contained within the report."
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat who chaired the committee when the report was produced, had asked that it be distributed to multiple executive branch agencies, a move designed to make it eventually releasable to the public under the Freedom of Information Act law.
Feinstein said in a statement that she was "concerned and disappointed" that Burr requested that the document be returned, calling it a departure from the committee's normal bipartisan nature.
"No senator, chairman or not, has the authority to erase history. I believe that is the intent of the chairman in this case," she said.
Sen Mark Warner, who succeeded Feinstein as the committee's top Democrat, said in a Twitter post he was "disappointed" with Burr's decision, and that the report "must be preserved so we can learn from past mistakes & ensure that abuses are never repeated."
Related reading: '7 Key Points From the C.I.A. Torture Report' [NYT].
A declassified executive summary of the 'secret' report on CIA torture was released to the public in December 2014, and concluded the CIA's interrogation programs "were more brutal and less effective than the CIA had told policymakers," and that "not a single terrorist attack was foiled as a result of the use of harsh interrogation techniques."