Less than 24 hours after The Intercept reported that Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) cut off access to a classified memo that several lawmakers said contains “disturbing” information about the record of President Donald Trump’s CIA pick Gina Haspel, Warner announced in a statement on Tuesday that he will vote to confirm Haspel despite her ongoing refusal to call what the CIA did to people “torture” or condemn it as immoral.
“We will remember who stood strong against torture in November.”
“Sen. Mark Warner has been accusing Trump and others of obstruction of justice for months,” Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, noted on Twitter in response to Warner’s announcement. “Yet he’s about to vote for Trump’s CIA nominee who, in destroying the torture tapes, was directly involved in the clearest case of obstruction of justice in recent memory.”
In a tweet on Tuesday denouncing Warner’s decision on Tuesday, the ACLU noted: “Sen. Mark Warner called Gina Haspel’s lack of transparency ‘unacceptable.’ Now he says he will vote for Haspel even though her role in torture is being hidden from the public.”
“We will remember who stood strong against torture in November,” ACLU concluded, “and so will his constituents.”
Further bolstering Haspel’s chances of sailing through the Senate despite fierce opposition from anti-war groups, former U.S. ambassadors, and victims of the torture program she oversaw, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) released statements shortly after Warner declaring that they, too, will back Haspel in the final vote on her confirmation, which could come by the end of the week.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday, and Haspel is expected to pass with approval.
The two Democratic senators’ announcements came shortly after CNN published a letter Haspel sent to Warner on Tuesday insisting that she has “learned the hard lessons since 9/11.”
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