SPONSORED:

Senate votes to confirm Trump counterintelligence chief

Senate votes to confirm Trump counterintelligence chief
© Getty Images

The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm President TrumpDonald TrumpSt. Louis lawyer who pointed gun at Black Lives Matter protesters considering Senate run Chauvin found guilty as nation exhales US says Iran negotiations are 'positive' MORE's counterintelligence chief after the nomination was stuck in limbo for nearly two years.

Senators voted 83-7 on William Evanina's nomination to be the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center.

Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthTrump looms over Senate's anti-Asian hate crimes battle Lawmakers demand justice for Adam Toledo: 'His hands were up. He was unarmed' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring MORE (Ill.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocrats renew push for George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Senate aims to pass anti-Asian hate crimes bill this week Mazie Hirono: Asian American, Pacific Islander community 'feels under siege' amid rise in hate crimes MORE (Hawaii), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyLawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' Overnight Energy: Biden reportedly will pledge to halve US emissions by 2030 | Ocasio-Cortez, Markey reintroduce Green New Deal resolution Ocasio-Cortez, Markey reintroduce Green New Deal resolution MORE (Mass.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyA proposal to tackle congressional inside trading: Invest in the US Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents Lobbying world MORE (Ore.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocrats renew push for George Floyd Justice in Policing Act Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents Lawmakers struggle with Capitol security after latest attack MORE (Md.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSchumer on 4/20: Bill coming to end federal marijuana prohibition GOP senator: Raising corporate taxes is a 'non-starter' Democrats get good news from IRS MORE (Ore.) voted against the nomination.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Senate's vote comes two days after Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySenate confirms SEC chief Gensler to full five-year term Senate aims to pass anti-Asian hate crimes bill this week 'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party MORE (R-Iowa) ended a nearly two-year blockade on the nomination, which he initially placed a hold on in June 2018.

"Due to the recent actions by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Attorney General to finally respond to my very longstanding oversight requests, I withdraw my objection to Mr. Evanina’s nomination," Grassley said in a statement.

Grassley announced in 2018 that he was putting a hold on Evanina's nomination because the intelligence community had been slow to respond to his oversight requests. He placed a hold on the nomination for a second time in March 2019, after the start of the new session of Congress.

Grassley said at the time, and again on Monday, that he was not stonewalling Evanina's nomination for personal reasons.

"I did not question Mr. Evanina’s credentials in any way, and I put my statement of those reasons in the Record. I have done that consistently, not only since the rules of the Senate first required every Member to do that but even before that rule was put in place," Grassley said Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

He added that his actions should be a "reminder that when it comes to congressional oversight, I will use all the tools at my disposal to get to the truth of the matter and get access to the records that I believe are necessary to advance my investigations."

Trump nominated Evanina in February 2018. Evanina has been filling the position since 2014, but lawmakers subsequently decided the post should require Senate confirmation.

His nomination has been approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee twice. But Grassley's hold meant that if McConnell wanted to schedule a vote he would have to go through procedural loopholes that would eat up days of floor time.

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerLawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' Manchin throws support behind union-backed PRO Act New US sanctions further chill Biden-Putin relations MORE (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the committee, urged his colleagues to support Evanina's nomination ahead of Wednesday's vote.

"Unfortunately, over the last two years, despite universal recognition of Bill’s qualifications for the position, his nomination became entangled in unrelated matters. Despite the delay, Bill stayed the course, committed to the mission above all else," Warner said.