ACLU wants CIA communication on Haspel's confirmation strategy

ACLU wants CIA communication on Haspel's confirmation strategy
© CIA

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is seeking communications between the CIA and its acting Director Gina Haspel regarding her ability to influence what information is shared about her controversial work at the agency during confirmation hearings for her nomination to lead the CIA. 

The legal group filed a Freedom of Information Act request on Friday seeking to find out whether Haspel, in her interim position, has the ability to decide whether to declassify information regarding her own career at the agency.

Haspel is facing strong pushback from human rights groups and key lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding her history at the CIA during the period the agency used harsh interrogation techniques on detained terrorists that are now widely considered to be torture. 

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The ACLU suggested in its letter to the CIA that the agency took part in a "campaign to influence the legislative branch's consideration" of the nominee. 

The group is demanding the agency turn over any communications it has had with reporters or the White House about Haspel in the weeks leading up to her confirmation hearing, which is set for Wednesday. 

The CIA has sought to clear the air surrounding Haspel's controversial tactics throughout her career by declassifying a memo of an internal disciplinary review that absolved her of guilt in destroying records from two interrogations from the early 2000s.

Ahead of Haspel's hearing, the White House has also provided staffers with a memo containing talking points to be used in defending the embattled nominee.