On Tuesday afternoon, Virginia Democrat Senator Mark Warner said he will vote to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director. Warner is the leading Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“Gina Haspel has served our country with dedication for 33 years. In many ways, her story is representative of the thousands of people at the Agency and throughout the intelligence community who serve quietly, without recognition, and often at great personal risk, in order to keep our nation safe from those who wish to do us harm," Warner released in a statement. "Over the last year I’ve had the opportunity to work with Ms. Haspel in her role as Deputy Director, and I have always found her to be professional and forthright with the Intelligence Committee. Most importantly, I believe she is someone who can and will stand up to the President if ordered to do something illegal or immoral – like a return to torture."
"In both our one-on-one meetings and in classified session before the Committee, I found Acting Director Haspel to be more forthcoming regarding her views on the interrogation program, which is why I asked her to memorialize those comments in writing. I also take to heart the strong support Ms. Haspel has among rank-and-file members of the intelligence community and from intelligence community leaders who served under President Obama," he continued. “I’m going to support Gina Haspel’s nomination to be Director of the CIA. I also respect my colleagues who have made a different decision. If she is confirmed, the Senate Intelligence Committee will continue to conduct thorough and vigorous oversight over the nation’s intelligence agencies.”
Warner's vote, combined with Democrats Heitkamp, Donnelly, Manchin, Jones and a number of Republican senators, will get Haspel enough votes to secure the nomination.
With McCain out, Paul a no on Haspel & Flake undecided, Haspel has a maximum of 49 yeas in the Senate. But 4 Dems back her nomination: Warner, Heitkamp, Manchin & Donnelly. There should be no question that Haspel is confirmed. Cmte vote comes tomorrow.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 15, 2018
Heitkamp to vote yea on Haspel: But this was not an easy decision. Ms. Haspel’s involvement in torture is deeply troubling, as..McCain, so eloquently reminded us..Haspel explained..the agency should not have employed such tactics &..assured me..it will not do so in the future.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 15, 2018