A second Democrat on Saturday said he would vote to confirm Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee for CIA director, moving the agency veteran a significant step closer to confirmation.
Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said he would support her after a “tough, frank and extensive discussion,” with Haspel, making him the second Democrat to back her nomination after West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin.
Democrats have expressed concern about Haspel’s involvement in the post 9/11-era interrogation and detention programs. In her confirmation hearing on Wednesday, while she refused to criticize colleagues for their conduct, she pledged that there would be no return to those programs under her leadership.
“Having served in that tumultuous time, I can offer you my personal commitment, clearly and without reservation, that under my leadership on my watch CIA will not restart such a detention and interrogation program,” she said.
Haspel was chief of a base at a black-site prison in Thailand in 2002, where techniques such as waterboarding were used on terror suspects. Democrats have also complained that the agency has been selective in its declassification of information about her.