Haspel confirmation vote set for Wednesday

Haspel confirmation vote set for Wednesday
© Greg Nash

The Senate Intelligence Committee will vote Wednesday on Gina Haspel's nomination to lead the CIA, a committee aide said Monday.

The vote will take place in closed session prior to a scheduled classified hearing on the intelligence community's 2017 assessment that Russia attempted to interfere in the U.S. election.

Haspel appears poised to pass out of committee with a favorable recommendation, teeing up a full Senate vote likely next week.

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Although some of the panel's Democrats have announced their opposition, Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinBriahna Joy Gray: Push toward major social spending amid pandemic was 'short-lived' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels Biden discusses agenda with Schumer, Pelosi ahead of pivotal week MORE (D-W.Va.) is supporting her.

One big question mark, however, remains the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerAdvocates call on top Democrats for 0B in housing investments Democrats draw red lines in spending fight Manchin puts foot down on key climate provision in spending bill MORE (Va.), who has remained conspicuously close-lipped on his position on the controversial nominee.

A handful of Senate Republicans have announced their opposition to Haspel — including Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate lawmakers let frustration show with Blinken Rand Paul: 'Hatred for Trump' blocking research into ivermectin as COVID-19 treatment Masks and vaccines: What price freedom? MORE (Ky.) and the long-absent Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain20 years after 9/11, US foreign policy still struggles for balance What the chaos in Afghanistan can remind us about the importance of protecting democracy at home 'The View' plans series of conservative women as temporary McCain replacements MORE (Ariz.) — but neither will threaten her chances in committee. McCain is in Arizona receiving treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer and Paul does not sit on the intel panel.

Another Democrat, Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyRepublicans may regret restricting reproductive rights Sanders traveling to Iowa, Indiana to pitch Biden's spending package Supreme Court battle could wreak havoc with Biden's 2020 agenda MORE (Ind.), announced his support for Haspel over the weekend. Both Manchin and Donnelly are up for reelection in 2018 and represent states won by President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE in 2016.

Haspel, currently deputy director of the agency, has drawn fierce opposition from some Democrats related her role in the CIA's detention and interrogation program in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks.

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The program used techniques now widely considered torture.

Haspel's specific role in the program remains classified.

She testified in her confirmation hearing that the program would not be restarted under her leadership, but frustrated Democrats with her answer on whether she thought the program was "immoral."

“I believe that CIA did extraordinary work to prevent another attack on this country given the legal tools that we were authorized to use,” Haspel said. “What I believe sitting here today is that I support the higher moral standard we have decided to hold ourselves to.”