The Gang of Eight (Go8) is the civilian oversight board of elected officials who oversee the U.S. intelligence community. The Gang of Eight consists of: 1. The Speaker of the House, 2. The Minority Leader of the House, 3. the Majority Leader of the Senate, 4. the Minority Leader of the Senate, 5. the Chairperson of the House Permanent Committee on Intelligence, 6. the minority leader from the same committee; 7. The Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee and 8. the minority leader of the same committee.
They are briefed on every covert operation that our various intelligence agencies carry out. They are directly responsible for oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
The Go8 are responsible for overseeing all executive office policy as it relates to intelligence gathering and corresponding activity. Everything the White House, CIA, NSA, and U.S State Department does is approved by these eight members who are accountable to the U.S. electorate. These eight representatives are the intelligence oversight “check” within the constitutionally established check and balance inside our federal government. In short these eight elected representatives are in charge of all oversight of all U.S. intelligence operations, open and covert.
The current structure and laws governing the Go8 came about after changes made based on recommendations of 9/11 Commission.
As a result of 2018 Midterm elections, the Gang of Eight for the 116th Congress consisted of Nancy Pelosi (D) – Speaker of House, Adam Schiff (D) – Chair, HPSCI, Senator Mitch McConnell (R) – Senate Majority Leader, Senator Richard Burr (R) – Chair, SSCI, Kevin McCarthy (R) – Minority Leader House, Senator Chuck Schumer (D) – Senate Minority Leader, Devin Nunes (R) – Ranking Member HPSCI and Senator Mark Warner (D) – Vice Chair, SSCI.
At the start of the 116th Congress. Democrat Sen. Mark Warner told Jake Tapper of CNN that he received Gang of Eight briefings on the Trump-Russia collusion hoax in the Summer of 2016. Warner did not become a member of the Gang of Eight til January 2017.