Haspel confirmation vote set for Wednesday

Haspel confirmation vote set for Wednesday
© Greg Nash

The Senate Intelligence Committee will vote Wednesday on Gina Haspel's nomination to lead the CIA, a committee aide said Monday.

The vote will take place in closed session prior to a scheduled classified hearing on the intelligence community's 2017 assessment that Russia attempted to interfere in the U.S. election.

Haspel appears poised to pass out of committee with a favorable recommendation, teeing up a full Senate vote likely next week.

Although some of the panel's Democrats have announced their opposition, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinKaine shares photos of child detention facility: ‘The real Trump Hotel’ Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families Manchin touts support for Trump border wall in new ad MORE (D-W.Va.) is supporting her.

One big question mark, however, remains the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerWray defends FBI after 'sobering' watchdog report Top Dems: IG report shows Comey's actions helped Trump win election Dem senator: Trump at G-7 made me ‘embarrassed for our country’ MORE (Va.), who has remained conspicuously close-lipped on his position on the controversial nominee.

A handful of Senate Republicans have announced their opposition to Haspel — including Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate passes 6B defense bill This week: House GOP caught in immigration limbo Amendments fuel resentments within Senate GOP MORE (Ky.) and the long-absent Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: States pull National Guard troops over family separation policy | Senators question pick for Afghan commander | US leaves UN Human Rights Council 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families McCain, Coons: Trump should withdraw controversial refugee nominee MORE (Ariz.) — but neither will threaten her chances in committee. McCain is in Arizona receiving treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer and Paul does not sit on the intel panel.

Another Democrat, Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyActress Marcia Gay Harden urges Congress to boost Alzheimer's funding Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families Dems seek to leverage ObamaCare fight for midterms MORE (Ind.), announced his support for Haspel over the weekend. Both Manchin and Donnelly are up for reelection in 2018 and represent states won by President TrumpDonald John TrumpConservatives express concern over House GOP immigration bill Poll: McSally holds 14-point lead in Arizona GOP Senate primary Trump defends Nielsen amid criticism over family separations MORE in 2016.

Haspel, currently deputy director of the agency, has drawn fierce opposition from some Democrats related her role in the CIA's detention and interrogation program in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks.

The program used techniques now widely considered torture.

Haspel's specific role in the program remains classified.

She testified in her confirmation hearing that the program would not be restarted under her leadership, but frustrated Democrats with her answer on whether she thought the program was "immoral."

“I believe that CIA did extraordinary work to prevent another attack on this country given the legal tools that we were authorized to use,” Haspel said. “What I believe sitting here today is that I support the higher moral standard we have decided to hold ourselves to.”