Doug Jones to oppose Haspel as CIA chief

Doug Jones to oppose Haspel as CIA chief
© Greg Nash

Red-state Democratic Sen. Doug Jones (Ala.) said Tuesday that he will oppose CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel's nomination to lead the spy agency.

Jones pointed to Haspel's role in the George W. Bush-era "enhanced interrogation" programs — now widely viewed as torture — as key to his opposition to her.

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"There is a legal and moral responsibility that comes with operating in secrecy. Some of Ms. Haspel’s past actions and beliefs did not meet that standard. We must choose leaders that consistently embody our highest ideals, rather than our darkest moments," he said in a statement.

Jones added that Haspel's role is "very troubling."

Jones's announcement comes as Haspel appears to have a lock on the confirmation, with several Democratic senators coming out in support of her on Tuesday.

Though Haspel is a veteran CIA official, her nomination is considered controversial because of her time running a CIA black site and the destruction of videotapes of the interrogation of an al Qaeda suspect.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to vote on Haspel's nomination on Wednesday. She could then get a vote on the Senate floor as soon as this week.

With Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - A huge win for Biden, centrist senators Only two people cited by TSA for mask violations have agreed to pay fine Senators reach billion deal on emergency Capitol security bill MORE (R-Ky.) expected to vote against Haspel, she needed to pick up at least one Democratic senator to get the simple majority needed to be confirmed.

Five Democratic senators — including Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal Democrats warn shrinking Biden's spending plan could backfire MORE (Va.), the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee — have said they will support Haspel. A spokesman for GOP Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeBiden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet House GOP stages mask mandate protest 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (Utah), who had been undecided, said that he met with Haspel on Tuesday and will support her.