March 15, 2014–Amid the swirling allegations of whether Dianne Feinstein and the Senate intelligence committee took a CIA document, or whether they had a proper right to it, the hidden central issue is what terms Feinstein’s committee and the CIA agreed upon for their access to agency records. The important stakes involved guarantee that the CIA worked hard to corral the Senate inquiry as tightly as they could. Such decisions are not made lightly. Their political aspects also dictate that arrangements be checked with presidents, who cannot afford to be our of the loop on these matters. It is therefore highly probable that the Obama White House considered the CIA-Senate arrangement in advance and made a decision on it.
In the first great congressional investigations of the CIA the White House actually held the center ground in the decisions on access. The documents posted here concern access to CIA records for the investigating committee led by Senator Frank Church. They include a selection of memoranda, briefing papers, and the actual CIA access restriction. You will see that the proposed CIA access regulation was actually submitted for White House approval. The approval authorities were Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who were at that time the deputy assistant and assistant to President Gerald R. Ford