DENVER — Colorado Sen. Mark Udall called Thursday afternoon for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan in response to a new report that the agency spied on members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on which he sits.
The Democratic lawmaker’s call is a public blow to the White House and an effort by the incumbent, who faces a tough reelection fight this fall, to distance himself from the Obama administration.
It comes after a classified briefing on an Inspector General’s report Thursday that detailed the CIA’s unauthorized intrusion into U.S. Senate staffers’ computers.
“After being briefed on the CIA Inspector General report today, I have no choice but to call for the resignation of CIA Director John Brennan,” Udall said. “The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate Intelligence Committee computers. This grave misconduct not only is illegal, but it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences.
“The CIA needs to acknowledge its wrongdoing and correct the public record in a timely, forthright manner — and that simply hasn’t occurred under John Brennan’s leadership. Such an acknowledgment is necessary, whether we’re talking about spying on Senate computers or about correcting misleading and inaccurate information about the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. An internal CIA accountability board review isn’t enough.”
Brennan, who’d taken a defiant posture until the report was released, has since apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders.
Five CIA employees improperly accessed Senate computers in an effort to track down certain documents, according to the inspector general’s report.