The Central Intelligence Agency logo is displayed in the lobby of CIA headquarters in Langley, Va. / Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department will not launch a criminal investigation into whether the CIA improperly searched a congressional database.
The matter relates to a dispute between some senators and the CIA, which was accused of attempting to interfere with a congressional inquiry into agency detention and interrogation techniques.
"The department carefully reviewed the matters referred to us and did not find sufficient evidence to warrant a criminal investigation,'' Justice spokesman Peter Carr said Thursday.
An angry Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the Senate Intelligence Committee chair, said in March that the CIA's alleged actions "may have violated the separation of powers principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution.''
The CIA, which had accused Senate staffers of improperly handling classified documents, referred the matter to the Justice Department.
The dispute centered in part on rules that the Senate and CIA had set for document collection in the congressional inquiry.
In 2009, the Senate panel began a review of detention and interrogation policies applied to terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11 attacks.
The committee's report has yet to be released.
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