BCCI 3Qd October. Surprise Task Force
The House Banking Committee has subpoenaed theBank for all of its records pertaining to CIApart of an investigation of the Bank of Credit and(BCCI). CIA does not currently have anyFirst American;
CIA haseneral briefing to two cleared Banking Committee staffers about the First American accounts, as well
We have also provided the
banning committee with intelligence reports on BCCI activities, and haveesire to cooperate with the Banking Committee's investigation so long as it would not require access to operational information. Despite that briefing, the Banking Committee hasetter to the ADCI asserting its
right to review allT
interview CIA officers in connection with its BCCI investigation, regardless of the sensitivity of the information. (Copy of letter attached.)
The Agency has tried to obtain the help of the HPSCI to acturrogate for the Banking Committee in reviewing sensitive operational information. The HPSCI Staff Director is continuing to discuss the issue with the Chairman. However, to date the Banking Committee has refused to accept any role for HPSCI in its investigation.
We have alsoequest for information from the House Task Force formed to investigate allegations that officials from the Reagan campaign sought to delay release of the hostages in Iran until after0 election. The Task Force requested information regarding official and unofficial arms sales to Iran. origin. content from7 through The requested information would include field reporting and operational strategies. After informing McCurdy and Shuster of the current situation with the Banking Committee and the October Surprise Task Force, we suggest that you make the following points:
We recognize the Banking Committeeegitimate interest in investigating the activities of BCCI, and the Agency is willing to cooperate with that investigation upoint.
We are prepared to provide the Banking Committeeintelligence on BCCI, and describe insense
We are not prepared to provide financial records that would reveal names of our agents (
Such information would be
This level of detailed information has not even been provided to the Intelligence Committees in connection with their review of CIA's relationship with BCCI.
Congressional review of sensitive CIA operational activities in the detail contemplated by the Banking Committee crosses the line from legitimate investigatory activity to detailed oversight of the Agency. We must avoid ending upituation where any committee investigating any subject that touches on foreign intelligence activities could review CIA operational information. That would change the existing system of oversight set up by the Congress in the Intelligence Oversight Act and seriously affect CIA's ability to conduct clandestine operations.
A similar concern could also arise with the October Surprise Task Force investigation. However, we will attempt to workompromise that would satisfy the Task Force's desire for information while protecting intelligence sources and methods.
We would appreciate whatever help the HPSCI can provide in persuading the Banking Committee that it is not necessary to obtain this sensitive type of operational information.
We are prepared to resist demands for access by the Banking Committee to sensitive operational information, and will,ast resort, seek to protect this type of information from disclosure by reguesting that the President invoke Executive Privilege. Similarly, we are prepared to ask the Department of Justice toemporary Restraining Order that would relieve First American Bank from having to comply with the Banking Committee subpoena.Original document.