CIA delivers classified materials to Congress on Haspel

The CIA has given Congress a tranche of classified documents related to the controversial undercover background of Gina Haspel, President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE's choice to lead the spy agency.

The delivery — a single cardboard box marked "hand carry" that was wheeled in on a dolly to a secure facility in the Capitol basement — comes as the agency is under fierce pressure from Democrats to declassify more information about Haspel's involvement in its now-defunct detention and interrogation program.

"As Acting Director Haspel promised, CIA delivered a set of classified documents to the Senate today so that every Senator can review Acting Director Haspel's actual, and outstanding record," a CIA spokesperson said in a statement  
 
"These documents cover the entirety of her career, including her time in CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center in the years after 9/11. We encourage every Senator to take the time to read the entire set of documents."
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It's unclear how much detail the CIA has provided lawmakers in advance of her Wednesday hearing, which is expected to be contentious. A second box, similarly marked, was also delivered to the Senate Intelligence Committee's secure spaces.  

Because so much of Haspel’s record is still classified — 32 of her 33 years at the agency were spent undercover — much of the fight in Congress has revolved around what information, if any, the CIA will make public about her past.

As the current acting director, Haspel herself is the declassification authority over her own record. On Friday, she reportedly offered to withdraw her nomination if it would avoid a bruising fight for the agency over its use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, which are now widely considered torture, in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks. 

Four Democratic senators — Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGillibrand calls for Kavanaugh nomination to be withdrawn Feinstein calls for hold on Kavanaugh consideration Grassley releases letter detailing Kavanaugh sexual assault allegation MORE (Calif.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHillicon Valley: NYT says Rosenstein wanted to wear wire on Trump | Twitter bug shared some private messages | Vendor put remote-access software on voting machines | Paypal cuts ties with Infowars | Google warned senators about foreign hacks Overnight Health Care: Opioids package nears finish line | Measure to help drug companies draws ire | Maryland ObamaCare rates to drop Google says senators' Gmail accounts targeted by foreign hackers MORE (Ore.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisDem senator calls on Kavanaugh to withdraw after second allegation Feinstein calls for hold on Kavanaugh consideration Senate Democrats increase pressure for FBI investigation of Kavanaugh MORE (Calif.) and Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichA Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too Election Countdown: What to watch in final primaries | Dems launch M ad buy for Senate races | Senate seats most likely to flip | Trump slump worries GOP | Koch network's new super PAC Rand Paul endorses Gary Johnson's Senate bid MORE (N.M.) — are now demanding that the director of national intelligence, Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsDem lawmakers slam Trump’s declassification of Russia documents as ‘brazen abuse of power’ Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal MORE, intervene to declassify the information.

"Given that Ms. Haspel, as the current Acting Director of the CIA, is in the conflicted position of serving as the classification authority over potentially derogatory information related to her own nomination, we can think of no more appropriate situation for you to serve as the relevant authority," the lawmakers wrote in a Friday letter. 

Democrats have complained that the CIA is selectively declassifying only positive information about Haspel and suggested that continuing to keep her record under wraps violates an Obama-era executive order prohibiting the use of classification to “conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error” or “prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency.”

As members of the intelligence panel, the four senators have access to classified information that the rest of their colleagues do not, and Wyden has hinted repeatedly that there is much about Haspel’s background that remains unknown.

Former intelligence officials — including critics of the Trump administration — have praised her as a professional, experienced officer.