California Sen. Dianne Feinstein has fled the United States and is seeking political asylum in another country, claiming she fears retribution for criticizing U.S. intelligence agencies.
In a conference call with reporters, Feinstein, who is hiding in an undisclosed location, said she was afraid of what the U.S. government would do to her after she said the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) may have broke several laws when it spied on the Senate intelligence committee.
â€œLook, you all saw what weâ€™ve done to Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning,â€ she said. â€œIâ€™m a high-profile target, being a senator and knowing what I know about the U.S. intelligence agencies.
â€œThere are people, shadowy people, who are now calling for my arrest and termination. Iâ€™m not safe in the United States anymore: they will hunt me down.â€
The California Democrat, who is chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, had long been a staunch defender of expanded surveillance programs, and accused Snowden of treason for revealing the depth of the National Security Agencyâ€™s spy programs.
However, Feinstein changed her tune after she blasted the CIA for possibly breaking the law and violating the Constitution when it allegedly sabotaged her committeeâ€™s efforts to investigate the CIAâ€™s interrogation programs.
â€œI started receiving strange phone calls at night,â€ she said. â€œMy phone was bugged and my private emails were read. One night I saw a drone hovering outside my house.â€