Haspel confirmation hearing for CIA chief put off until May

- April 18, 2018

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said Wednesday that Gina Haspel's confirmation hearing will take place next month, additional time that could help the CIA director nominee assuage bipartisan concerns about her record on brutal interrogation practices.

President Donald Trump nominated Haspel last month, but her paperwork formally arrived in the Senate just this week. Senators in both parties are continuing to press the CIA to reveal more details about Haspel's involvement in the George W. Bush-era "enhanced interrogation techniques" program, in which she played a key role in the use of harsh tactics tantamount to torture on detained terrorist suspects.

Burr said in a brief interview Wednesday that he would wait to hold Haspel's confirmation hearing until after a recess scheduled for the last week in April.

That allows the Trump administration more time to schedule in-person meetings for the nominee, who has served as the CIA's deputy director since last year. The agency has not indicated what, if any, new information it intends to share with senators about Haspel's record.


While Haspel continues making the rounds in the Senate, Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director picked to become secretary of State, is on track for a confirmation vote in the full Senate as soon as next week. Securing his confirmation before getting to work on hers also would benefit a Trump administration stretched thin by multiple confirmation pushes happening at the same time.

Liberal groups are determined to bring down Haspel over her involvement in the Bush administration's harsh treatment of detainees. The nonprofit Center for Victims of Torture released a letter on Wednesday signed by more than 50 Virginia state officials and advocates urging Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) to oppose Haspel.


 

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