Doug Jones to oppose Haspel as CIA chief

Doug Jones to oppose Haspel as CIA chief
© Greg Nash

Red-state Democratic Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.) said Tuesday that he will oppose CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel's nomination to lead the spy agency.

Jones pointed to Haspel's role in the George W. Bush-era "enhanced interrogation" programs — now widely viewed as torture — as key to his opposition to her.

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"There is a legal and moral responsibility that comes with operating in secrecy. Some of Ms. Haspel’s past actions and beliefs did not meet that standard. We must choose leaders that consistently embody our highest ideals, rather than our darkest moments," he said in a statement.

Jones added that Haspel's role is "very troubling."

Jones's announcement comes as Haspel appears to have a lock on the confirmation, with several Democratic senators coming out in support of her on Tuesday.

Though Haspel is a veteran CIA official, her nomination is considered controversial because of her time running a CIA black site and the destruction of videotapes of the interrogation of an al Qaeda suspect.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to vote on Haspel's nomination on Wednesday. She could then get a vote on the Senate floor as soon as this week.

With Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia GOP leader blocks resolution backing intelligence community on Russia Rand Paul blocks Sanders's Russia resolution, calls it 'crazy hatred' against Trump MORE (R-Ky.) expected to vote against Haspel, she needed to pick up at least one Democratic senator to get the simple majority needed to be confirmed.

Five Democratic senators — including Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate panel advances Trump IRS nominee Bipartisan bill would bring needed funds to deteriorating National Park Service infrastructure Senate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting MORE (Va.), the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee — have said they will support Haspel. A spokesman for GOP 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 (Utah), who had been undecided, said that he met with Haspel on Tuesday and will support her.