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 WarnerHillicon Valley: North Korean IT firm hit with sanctions | Zuckerberg says Facebook better prepared for midterms | Big win for privacy advocates in Europe | Bezos launches B fund to help children, homeless Bipartisan trio asks US intelligence to investigate ‘deepfakes’ Warner: 'overwhelming majority' of Republicans would back social media regulations MORE (Va.), the vice chairman of the committee, and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinKavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow 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. 

 
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 LeeOvernight Health Care: Opioid legislation passes overwhelmingly | DOJ backs Cigna-Express Scripts merger | Senate passes ban on pharmacy gag clauses US military intervention in Venezuela would be a major mistake The Hill's 12:30 Report — Obama jumps into midterm fight with speech blasting Trump | Trump wants DOJ to probe anonymous writer | Day four of Kavanaugh hearing 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. 
 
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDems gain momentum 50 days before midterms CBS Poll: Missouri, Montana Senate races in dead heats Dems play waiting game with Collins and Murkowski MORE (Mo.), viewed as one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection, has yet to say how she will vote.