U.S. Senate Intelligence Republican says many questions on CIA issue

WASHINGTON Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:13pm EDT

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) (L), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator Jeffrey Chiesa (R-NJ) depart after a full-Senate briefing by Director of the National Security Agency General Keith Alexander (not pictured), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) (L), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Senator Jeffrey Chiesa (R-NJ) depart after a full-Senate briefing by Director of the National Security Agency General Keith Alexander (not pictured), at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top Republican on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on Wednesday there were still many unanswered questions about allegations that the CIA spied on the panel, and suggested a special investigator might be needed on the issue.

"Although people speak as though we know all the pertinent facts about this matter, the truth is, we don't," Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss said in remarks on the Senate floor.

"Both parties have made allegations against one another and even speculated as to each other's actions, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions that must be addressed," Chambliss said.

He spoke a day after the Democratic chairwoman of the committee, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, made a floor speech accusing the CIA of searching computers used by committee staffers researching operations including the use of harsh interrogation methods such as simulated drowning or waterboarding.

Chambliss said no forensics had been run on CIA computers or the Senate computers involved, and that it was too soon for him to make recommendations.

"It may even call for some special investigator to be named to review the entire factual situation," he said.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Sandra Maler and Peter Cooney)

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