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It’s even unclear where Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a blue-state veteran who’s spent years fighting the legacy on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program, can be. She faced a young jab from her liberal challenger to use a tougher line against Haspel and is now opting that direction. Still, Feinstein and plenty of in their own party aren’t saying where they stand before confirmation hearings begin.
“Democrats are losing this opportunity to define a moral backbone for that party, to differentiate themselves on values,” said Faiz Shakir, national political director for the American Civil Liberties Union and also a former Senate Democratic aide.
“Certainly, Trump loves torture – he’s said hello, it ‘works.’ This is usually a clear possibility to say, ‘That’s him which is us.’ A complete break.”
One Democrat who supported Pompeo to lead CIA is already leaving the entrance exposed to opposing him as secretary of state. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), an overseas Relations Committee member, told POLITICO she has “some major concerns” around the bid.
“The intel position is really distinct from to be the chief diplomat,” Kaine said in an interview last week. “And his record for a House member isn’t pro-diplomacy, his qualifications was anti-diplomacy – and, I believe, preferring war first. – That will exacerbate some major concerns We’ve for the president’s attitude."
Another Senate Democrat around the Foreign Relations panel who backed Pompeo’s CIA nomination, Jeanne Shaheen most recent Hampshire, also said within the interview that she would like to gauge his methods budget and personnel questions before deciding how she’ll vote.
With Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) absent and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) opposed to Haspel and Pompeo, the Trump White Property is prone to need Democratic votes to win confirmation. That means several senators are usually in line to get a maximum pressure campaign from your left.
The Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, was among 15 persons in the minority to support Pompeo’s CIA nomination recently. He’s declining to tip his hand on Haspel, however, telling reporters late yesterday that “there’s will be plenty of legitimate questions that must be answered, so i hope they will likely be as forthcoming as possible while protecting sources and techniques.”
Liberal and civil rights groups wish to see Warner join Feinstein and also other Democrats in trying for the declassification of CIA records on Haspel’s role from the George W. Bush administration’s use of brutal interrogation tactics, including waterboarding.
Warner declared “within the bounds of protecting sources and methods, yes, I wish to see all the declassified as possible” about Haspel’s past activity. But that may not be sufficient for advocates who warn how the agency isn’t highly likely to do something with out a more direct edict in the Senate.
“I don’t think CIA will accept to it if your committee doesn’t force the difficulty, and i also don’t even think the committee will force the problem unless Warner is able to inform [Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard] Burr that it has to happen,” Katherine Hawkins, an investigator to the Project on Government Oversight, said in an interview.
POGO joined greater than two dozen liberal and civil liberties groups in the Friday plea for any Senate to declassify Haspel material. Amnesty International went further on Monday, urging Trump to withdraw her nomination and launch an exploration into her past.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who, together with Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), began pressing for the declassification of Haspel records this past year, said Monday that “I believe there’s a simple tremendous amount of her background which can be declassified without compromising sensitive, classified information."
Feinstein raised alarms on the left last week by telling reporters that Haspel were being “a good deputy director,” citing your own dinner when using the three-decade agency veteran. But within days, after going for a hit from her California primary challenger Kevin de Leon, Feinstein was aligning with Wyden and Heinrich in pushing for declassification.
White House legislative affairs director Marc Short didn’t reject giving lawmakers having access to some material, telling CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday: “I’m certain that we’ll desire to provide as much information as necessary, without compromising any international secrets.”
Two other Democrats being watched by advocacy groups are Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, who opposed Pompeo for CIA but appeared available to Haspel a week ago, and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who not too long ago shifted from yes to no over a Trump nominee active in the Bush-era legal memos that cleared the usage of the interrogation tactics.
Manchin, an Intelligence Committee member, changed his stance on Steven Bradbury’s nomination to be Department of Transportation general counsel once you have an individual appeal from McCain. Considering that Manchin opposed Bradbury for that DOT role that was not linked with national security, activists are hopeful how the red-state Democrat and frequent Trump ally will also nix Haspel.
“There’s no rational argument for opposing Bradbury’s nomination and never opposing Haspel’s,” Scott Roehm, Washington office director for the nonprofit Center for Victims of Torture, said within an interview.
Manchin has declined to point out how he’ll vote on Haspel or Pompeo ahead of meetings while using the nominees. Pompeo met on Monday with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who’s eyeing a confirmation hearing the minute April 12 in case the nomination documents are in on time.
Another Senate Democrat the left is closely watching about the nominations: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who told POLITICO in a very Friday statement that "neither confirmation is often a sure thing."
Schumer told reporters make certain that Pompeo and Haspel were tapped, however, that he is not yet urging his caucus to be removed in opposition. Of course, if he doesn’t whip contrary to the nominees, the grass-roots activists the party is depending on to be released in November usually tend will be disappointed.
"Rapid response is no. There isn’t any reason for any Democrats to vote to evaluate either Pompeo or Haspel," said Elizabeth Beavers, policy manager for any liberal group Indivisible.