Committee approves Trump's CIA director nominee, setting up full Senate vote

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 closed doors Wednesday to advance ...

Posted: May 16, 2018 1:14 PM
Updated: May 16, 2018 1:14 PM

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 closed doors Wednesday to advance Gina Haspel's nomination as President Donald Trump's CIA director pick, advancing the nominee to a full floor vote where she looks all but assured to win Senate confirmation.

Two of the committee's seven Democrats have said they are supporting Haspel, including Virginia's Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the panel. Haspel currently has more than enough support to win confirmation, as Warner was one of three Democrats to announce Tuesday that they were voting for her, bringing the total to five.

Two Republicans, Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona, are opposed to Haspel's nomination, and McCain isn't expected to be back in Washington for the vote while he battles brain cancer. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, McCain's Arizona colleague, has said he's undecided.

RELATED: Here's how senators say they'll vote on CIA director nominee Haspel

The committee voted Wednesday in a closed session before a hearing on the intelligence community's assessment of 2017 Russian election meddling, in which former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers are testifying.

With a positive committee vote, the full Senate could vote on Haspel's confirmation as early as Thursday, according to Senate aides, although that would require cooperation from senators to waive the chamber's procedural hurdles for a quick vote.

The vote for Haspel is shaping up to be similar to last month's tally for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was confirmed with the backing of six Democrats from states Trump won in 2016, five of whom are up for re-election this year. Of those six Democrats, four have said they are voting for Haspel, Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama is opposing her and Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri is undecided.

Haspel faces opposition from a majority of Democrats and human rights groups for her role in the George W. Bush administration's interrogation and detention program, which critics say amounted to torture. Haspel has been criticized for supervising a CIA black site in Thailand where detainees were brutally interrogated, as well as for her role in the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes.

At her confirmation hearing last week, Haspel faced sharp questions from Democrats about whether she thought the interrogation program was immoral. Haspel danced around those queries by saying she would not restart the program and that she supports the current "stricter moral standard" after Congress changed the law.

Haspel's critics have also complained that the CIA has chosen to selectively release information about Haspel's 33-year CIA career in order to put her in a positive light. Several Democrats and at least one Republican say the full Senate should have access to a classified Justice Department report written by John Durham, the special prosecutor who investigated the destruction of the CIA interrogation tapes but did not bring charges. The intelligence panel was given a copy of the report summary.

But the Democrats backing Haspel have pointed to her endorsement from a wide range of former intelligence officials, including top Obama administration officials, as well as an acknowledgment in a Tuesday letter that she believed the interrogation program was damaging and shouldn't have been conducted, something she didn't say at her public hearing.

"I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the President if ordered to do something illegal or immoral -- like a return to torture," Warner said in explaining his decision to vote for her.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 110592

Reported Deaths: 3171
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7731171
DeSoto655177
Harrison478481
Jackson429178
Rankin380086
Madison371092
Lee339279
Forrest292777
Jones281682
Washington250697
Lafayette241342
Lauderdale2329130
Lamar212038
Bolivar197775
Oktibbeha194154
Neshoba1795111
Lowndes173662
Panola164736
Leflore158786
Sunflower156749
Warren151854
Monroe143672
Pontotoc143019
Pike135555
Lincoln133954
Copiah133336
Marshall130026
Coahoma122836
Scott122729
Grenada119637
Simpson117648
Yazoo116933
Union113825
Holmes113060
Tate112339
Leake111839
Itawamba108724
Pearl River107456
Adams104042
Prentiss100919
Wayne97921
Alcorn94412
George93217
Marion92642
Covington90825
Tippah84820
Newton84227
Chickasaw81724
Tallahatchie81725
Winston81421
Tishomingo78640
Hancock76527
Attala76325
Clarke70948
Clay66621
Jasper66016
Walthall63427
Calhoun60912
Noxubee59516
Smith57716
Claiborne53016
Montgomery52723
Tunica51817
Lawrence48914
Yalobusha47914
Perry47522
Carroll45812
Greene44717
Stone44614
Amite41513
Quitman4096
Humphreys39916
Jefferson Davis39311
Webster36313
Wilkinson32920
Kemper31615
Benton3004
Sharkey27714
Jefferson26210
Franklin2283
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 152272

Reported Deaths: 2621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22300372
Mobile14273314
Tuscaloosa9886132
Montgomery9615196
Madison895192
Shelby700260
Lee643066
Baldwin636967
Marshall425348
Calhoun408459
Etowah399149
Morgan393232
Houston362332
DeKalb313326
Elmore308152
St. Clair276742
Limestone268327
Walker264192
Talladega253634
Cullman223923
Lauderdale204340
Autauga198928
Franklin198131
Jackson197914
Russell18993
Colbert188927
Dallas184527
Blount182723
Chilton178731
Escambia170328
Covington164429
Coffee16299
Dale161551
Pike130112
Tallapoosa126986
Chambers126643
Clarke126116
Marion103929
Butler99640
Barbour9819
Marengo96421
Winston88613
Geneva8297
Pickens79317
Randolph79314
Lawrence78830
Bibb78513
Hale73729
Cherokee71414
Clay70312
Lowndes69827
Bullock63417
Henry6286
Monroe6259
Washington62012
Crenshaw58830
Perry5796
Conecuh55413
Wilcox55412
Fayette54012
Macon52819
Cleburne5207
Sumter46421
Lamar4555
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
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