The Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday recommended Gina Haspel be confirmed as CIA director, and now the full Senate will later vote on her nomination.
President Trump nominated Haspel to the post, and her confirmation process has been under intense scrutiny.
The CIA’s post-9/11 enhanced interrogation program that Haspel was involved with, as well as torture methods and waterboarding, have been contentious topics generally split along party lines. But some Democrats announced their support of Haspel on Tuesday, which indicated she would garner the Senate’s approval and be named CIA director.
The committee on Wednesday voted 10 to 5 to recommend Haspel to the full Senate. Of the 100 U.S. Senators, 51 are Republicans and 49 are Democrats; while two Republicans said they would not vote for Haspel, five Democrats have indicated they would support her nomination.
BREAKING: Senate Intelligence committee recommends that Senate confirm Gina Haspel as CIA director.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 16, 2018
Haspel spent 33 years in the Central Intelligence Agnency, and if confirmed, she would become the agency’s first female leader.
Haspel, 61, is the acting CIA director, and she has yet to be confirmed by Congress after facing backlash from politicians over her intelligence career.
She ran a black-site prison in Thailand where a high-level terrorist was detained and tortured in 2002.
Mohammed was captured in March 2003 and was kept at CIA prisons in Afghanistan and Poland. He was tortured by the CIA, including being waterboarded.
Haspel has pledged not to implement an interrogation program of that kind again.
“Having served in that tumultuous time, I can offer you my personal commitment, clearly and without reservation, that under my leadership CIA will not restart such a detention and interrogation program,” she said.