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) ManchinOvernight Health Care: Senate takes up massive HHS spending bill next week | Companies see no sign of drugmakers cutting prices, despite Trump claims | Manchin hits opponent on ObamaCare lawsuit Manchin hits opponent on ObamaCare lawsuit with new ad The Hill's Morning Report: Dems have a majority in the Senate (this week) MORE (D-W.Va.) is supporting her.

One big question mark, however, remains the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenators demand answers on reported lead poisoning at Army bases Top Republican: Senate panel not ready to wrap up Russia probe The Memo: For Trump, this week has been anything but sleepy 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 PaulHillicon Valley: Trump escalates feud with intel critics | Tesla shares fall after troubling Musk interview | House panel considers subpoena for Twitter's Jack Dorsey | Why Turkish citizens are breaking their iPhones Overnight Defense: Trump cancels military parade, blames DC for cost | DC mayor hits back | Pentagon warns China 'likely' training for strikes against US | Turkey refuses to release US pastor On Russia we need diplomacy, not just sanctions MORE (Ky.) and the long-absent Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report Senate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Rand Paul’s Russia visit displays advancement of peace through diplomacy 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 DonnellyThe Hill's Morning Report: Dems have a majority in the Senate (this week) Schumer to meet with Kavanaugh on Tuesday Supreme Court nomination reignites abortion fights in states 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 TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller 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.”