Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday that he'd asked the Senate's Sergeant-at-Arms to investigate whether the CIA gained access to congressional staffers' computers.
Reid notified CIA Director John Brennan and Attorney General Eric Holder that he had ordered the forensic analysis of computers belonging to the Senate Intelligence Committee. The probe follows allegations from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the committee chairwoman who first alleged the CIA had illicitly accessed committee computers.
"The Senate has an interest in bringing final resolution to this dispute," Reid wrote to Brennan in a letter which was obtained by NBC News. "In coordination with the Intelligence Committee, I have instructed the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms to initiate a forensic examination of the computers and computer network assigned for exclusive [Intelligence Committe] use, in order to determine how the 'Panetta Review' entered into the ... network."
The "Panetta Review" refers to a classified report ordered by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta into enhanced interrogation practices. Feinstein alleged that the CIA had covertly searched committee computers to find out how staff obtained that report as part of their broader investigation into CIA tactics.
Brennan has denied wrongful behavior by the CIA, calling it "beyond the scope of reason." Many senior lawmakers have publicly said they will reserve judgment until an investigation is complete.