Senate panel advances Trump's CIA nominee
© Greg Nash

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Wednesday to send Gina Haspel's nomination to the floor, setting up a final vote on the nominee as soon as this week.

Two Democrats, Sens. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting Overnight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Hillicon Valley: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | Sparks fly at hearing on social media | First House Republican backs net neutrality bill | Meet the DNC's cyber guru | Sinclair defiant after merger setback MORE (Va.), the vice chairman of the committee, and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Morrisey accuses Manchin of 'lying' to Trump, attacks ‘liberal’ record The Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments MORE (W.Va.), sided with Republicans in approving her nomination in a 10-5 vote during a closed committee meeting. 

“As Director of the CIA, Gina Haspel will be the first operations officer in more than five decades to lead the Agency. ... 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," Warner said in a statement after the vote.

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Haspel's background as a career CIA officer who played a role in the agency's use of interrogation and detention policies viewed as torture has been the key debate in her confirmation process.

Many critics of Haspel said that her work in the post-Sept. 11 CIA was disqualifying for someone who wanted to lead the agency. 

Her defenders said she is highly qualified to run the agency and was following orders in the environment that followed the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history.

At her confirmation hearing, Haspel repudiated the programs and said she would not allow their return. 

Senate GOP leaders have signaled that they want to try to confirm her as soon as Thursday, though without cooperation from Democrats that could slide into next week. 

So far, five Democrats have said they will vote for Haspel: Warner, Manchin, Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Bipartisan group introduces retirement savings legislation in Senate Fed chief lays out risks of trade war MORE (N.D.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonSenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Hillicon Valley: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | Sparks fly at hearing on social media | First House Republican backs net neutrality bill | Meet the DNC's cyber guru | Sinclair defiant after merger setback Senate Dems rip Trump after Putin news conference MORE (Fla.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellySenate Dems build huge cash edge in battlegrounds Fed chief lays out risks of trade war Doug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee MORE (Ind.). 
 
All of them, except for Warner, up for reelection in red and purple states carried by Trump in the 2016 election. 
 
Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.), a red-state Democrat who faces election in 2020, announced that he would oppose her. 
 
 
Haspel has won over Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWisconsin GOP Senate candidate rips his own parents for donations to Dems GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Utah), who is a close ally of Paul's. A spokesman for the libertarian-minded senator said he would support Haspel after meeting with her on Tuesday. 
 
A few senators remain on the fence.