In the final days before the report is made public, the Obama administration has sought to employ one last tactic to—at the very least—make the country second-guess Feinstein's decision to move forward with the report's release.
On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry called Feinstein to brief her on the potential security threats the report could reveal in the Middle East. The interference from one of the highest rungs of the administration was seen by several senators and transparency advocates as a last-ditch effort to torpedo the report's release.
"It is not surprising that members of the administration are raising an objection at the 11th hour, because there have been objections at every other hour," said Senator Ron Wyden, a Democratic member of the panel, in a statement last week.
However, the administration's now-publicized concerns about national security also double as political cover for the Obama administration for any geopolitical fallout that occurs after the roughly 500-page executive summary becomes public. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Monday that the administration has been preparing key military targets and embassies for months.
The warning of potential violence follows an ugly, months-long dispute over redacting pseudonyms that for months dominated discussions between White House officials and Senate Intelligence officials. Tension boiled until Senate Democrats unleashed their frustrations on White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough in November during a caucus luncheon.
Still, there is a sense that the White House has tried to run out the clock ahead of the 114th Congress. Once the new Congress is sworn in, the Senate Intelligence Committee will be controlled by Republicans, who would be less likely to advocate release of the report.
"The president did the CIA's dirty work and forced their insistence that the pseudonyms be taken out, which makes the report more difficult to follow and less meaningful," says Chris Anders, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union. "Feinstein was forced into a take-it-or-leave-it position."
Democrats and civil-liberties advocates, however, are not the only ones irritated by the White House's strategy to support the release of the report publicly, all the while making behind-the-scenes efforts to slow-walk it over security concerns in the final hours.
Republican Senator Richard Burr, who will take the helm of the intelligence panel in the next Congress and has been opposed to the report's release, accused the White House of only making a half-hearted attempt to delay the release.
"It's dumbfounding to me how a secretary of state could call and ask for the release to be delayed and at the same time the White House press secretary on behalf of the president says there should be an expeditious release of this document," Burr said. "You can't have it both ways."