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 WarnerSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Optimism grows that infrastructure deal will get to Biden's desk Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session MORE (Va.), the vice chairman of the committee, and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Manchin on reported boos at Democratic luncheon: 'I heard a lot of nos' Schumer: Democrats 'on track' to pass bipartisan deal, .5T budget 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 LeeSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet House GOP stages mask mandate protest 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 McCaskillGiuliani to stump for Greitens in Missouri McCaskill shares new July 4 family tradition: Watching Capitol riot video Joe Manchin's secret MORE (Mo.), viewed as one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection, has yet to say how she will vote.