Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's nominee to become the next Central Intelligence Agency director, sought to withdraw her nomination Friday after some White House officials anxious that her role in the interrogation of terrorist suspects could prevent her confirmation by the Senate, according to four senior USA officials.
Haspel was summoned to the White House on Friday for a meeting to discuss her history in the interrogation program that employed techniques, including waterboarding, widely condemned as torture, the Post reported, citing four unidentified senior U.S. officials. The news was first reported on Sunday by The Washington Post.
The legal group filed a Freedom of Information Act request on Friday seeking to find out whether Haspel, in her interim position, has the ability to decide whether to declassify information regarding her own career at the agency. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to vote against her. Shakir said other senators might be targeted before the Senate votes.
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CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel is scheduled to go before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday for a hearing to become the CIA director.
Haspel ultimately decided not to withdraw, and intensive prep sessions for her Wednesday confirmation hearing continued on Sunday. While the CIA recently agreed to shed light on some of her records, the intelligence agency maintained that certain details about her career must remain classified. She served nearly entirely undercover and much of her record is classified.
"Some White House officials were concerned by material being raised in questions from Congress, information they were just learning about, according to the USA officials", the Post noted. "If she did not stand up for the law and basic morality when it mattered, why should any senator believe that she will say no to any illegal order from this president?"
The report also said that not a single terrorist attack was foiled as a result of the use of the so-called harsh interrogation techniques. For one, it appears that Haspel was an "enthusiastic supporter" of the controversial waterboarding program, which casts her in a negative light. The eight-page memo written in 2011 summarizes a disciplinary review conducted by then-CIA deputy director Mike Morell.