The new head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Richard Burr, has long been known as a staunch defender of anything the CIA/NSA decide to do. That’s why we still find it odd that he’s now in charge of overseeing them, a job that was created to try to prevent their abuses. In the past, Burr has even argued that all hearings by the committee should be held in secret, to prevent any information from ever getting out. So, perhaps it wasn’t that surprising when he kicked off his new role by claiming that his predecessor, Senator Dianne Feinstein, had somehow broken all sorts of protocol in actually distributing copies of the committee’s 6000+ page report on the CIA’s torture program and how the CIA lied to Congress about it. Burr was demanding all the copies back, while supposedly acting furious that it had been distributed. He claimed that it “was not a valid disclosure” and that it was done without approval.
As part of that complaint, he went to the Senate Parliamentarian (basically the referee who makes the calls on all the arcane and sometimes ridiculous rules of the Senate), asking for a determination that Feinstein had violated the rules in distributing the report. Instead, he got the opposite. The Parliamentarian has noted that Feinstein did nothing wrong in distributing the report.