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 PaulConservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Senate approves 4B spending bill Some employees' personal data revealed in State Department email breach: report 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 WarnerRussia docs order sets Trump on collision with intel community Hillicon 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’ MORE (Va.), the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee — have said they will support Haspel. A spokesman for GOP Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeUtah group complains Mia Love should face criminal penalties for improper fundraising Senate approves 4B spending bill Overnight Health Care: Opioid legislation passes overwhelmingly | DOJ backs Cigna-Express Scripts merger | Senate passes ban on pharmacy gag clauses MORE (Utah), who had been undecided, said that he met with Haspel on Tuesday and will support her.