On Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee has voted to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA Director. In the beginning of the process, her confirmation vote was optimistic at best as a pair of Republican Senators came out against her. After a rigorous hearing and an exhaustive line of questioning, mostly concerning her role supervising a program which used enhanced interrogation techniques, Haspel was able to secure enough votes to be confirmed by the committee.
During the questioning, Haspel promised that the use or torture would be outlawed with her at the head of the Agency and the group confirmed her to the post 10 votes to 5 votes.
Senate Intel committee Votes 10-5 in Support of Gina Haspel as the Next Director of the CIA pic.twitter.com/nJWzFDuhzB
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 16, 2018
Per Washington Examiner:
“Gina Haspel is the most qualified person the president could choose to lead the CIA and the most prepared nominee in the 70 year history of the Agency,” said Commitee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C.
Haspel found bipartisan support after weeks of debate over her role overseeing enhanced interrogation techniques used by the agency more than a decade ago. The committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, voted for her.
Haspel has served three decades at the agency and is widely respected by the intelligence community, which helped ease her Intelligence Committee endorsement.
Haspel’s confirmation by the committee will go a long way in receiving a final confirmation vote by the full Senate body. According to the report, four Democrats have promised to support Haspel on the final vote. The additional four votes will help offset the two Republicans who have voiced criticisms of Haspel, including Senator Rand Paul.
BREAKING: Senate Intelligence committee recommends that Senate confirm Gina Haspel as CIA director.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 16, 2018
And, per Associated Press:
Haspel had already picked up Democratic support and appears on a path to confirmation. The full Senate is expected to vote on her nomination as early as this week.
Her nomination has renewed debate over the harsh interrogation program the CIA conducted on terror suspects after 9/11. Haspel has vowed not to restart such a program, but has declined to disclose details about her involvement.
All eight Republicans and two of the seven Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee earlier expressed support for Haspel. The remaining five Democrats had announced their opposition.
She is a career intelligence official, but her nomination has been controversial because she was involved in the CIA’s post-9/11 program of detaining and harshly interrogating terror suspects.
On Tuesday, Haspel said that with the benefit of hindsight and her experience as a senior agency leader, the enhanced interrogation program is not one that the CIA should have undertaken.
JUST IN: In 10-5 vote, Gina Haspel’s nomination to be CIA director is favorably advanced out of the Senate Intel Cmte. for consideration by the full Senate – @frankthorp
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 16, 2018
“She has acted morally, ethically, and legally, over a distinguished 30-year career and is the right person to lead the Agency into an uncertain and challenging future,” Burr added, per CBS News. “I’m pleased to see the Committee favorably report her nomination to the full Senate, and I look forward to her swift confirmation.”
Here’s even more:
Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, who originally expressed concerns with Haspel’s history at the agency during her confirmation hearing, said that he believes Haspel will be a “strong advocate for the Agency’s workforce, and an independent voice who can and will stand up on behalf of our nation’s intelligence community.”
He added, “Most importantly, 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.”