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Dems under time limits to dam Pompeo, Haspel

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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 within the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program, can become. She faced an early jab from her liberal challenger for taking a tougher line against Haspel and it is now going into that direction. Still, Feinstein and several within their party will not be saying where they stand before confirmation hearings begin.

“Democrats are losing this opportunity to define a moral backbone for the party, to tell apart on their own values,” said Faiz Shakir, national political director at the American Civil Liberties Union in addition to a former Senate Democratic aide.

“Certainly, Trump loves torture – he’s stated it, it ‘works.’ This is usually a clear probability to say, ‘That’s him and this is us.’ A whole break.”

One Democrat who supported Pompeo to guide CIA is already leaving the threshold prepared to take opposing him as secretary of state. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a different Relations Committee member, told POLITICO they have “some major concerns” about the bid.

“The intel position is really so diverse from being the chief diplomat,” Kaine said within a interview last week. “And his reputation as the House member has not been pro-diplomacy, his reputation was anti-diplomacy – and, I do think, preferring war first. – That can exacerbate some major concerns I’ve got around the president’s attitude."

Another Senate Democrat about the Foreign Relations panel who backed Pompeo’s CIA nomination, Jeanne Shaheen newest Hampshire, also said in a interview they hopes to gauge his techniques to budget and personnel questions before deciding how she’ll vote.

With Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) absent and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) hostile Haspel and Pompeo, the Trump White House is about to need Democratic votes to win confirmation. That means several senators come in line for just a maximum pressure campaign within the left.

The Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, was among 15 individuals the minority to guide Pompeo’s CIA nomination this past year. He’s declining to tip his hand on Haspel, however, telling reporters late this morning that “there’s probably going to be lots of legitimate questions that should be answered, so i hope that he are going to be as forthcoming as it can be while protecting sources and techniques.”

Liberal and civil rights groups would want to see Warner join Feinstein along with Democrats in trying for the declassification of CIA records on Haspel’s role while in the George W. Bush administration’s using brutal interrogation tactics, including waterboarding.

Warner declared “within the bounds of protecting sources and methods, yes, I want to see so much declassified as possible” about Haspel’s past activity. But that will not sufficient for advocates who warn that the agency is not likely to do with no more direct edict from your Senate.

“I don’t even think CIA will agree to it if the committee doesn’t force the challenge, and i also don’t fall for the committee will force the issue unless Warner is able to inform [Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard] Burr that this would need to happen,” Katherine Hawkins, an investigator for that Project on Government Oversight, said in a interview.

POGO joined a lot more than 24 liberal and civil liberties groups inside a Friday plea for any Senate to declassify Haspel material. Amnesty International went further on Monday, urging Trump to withdraw her nomination and launch a study into her past.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who, in addition to Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), began pressing to your declassification of Haspel records during the past year, said Monday that “I believe there’s a great deal of her background which can be declassified without compromising sensitive, classified information."

Feinstein raised alarms around the left yesterday by telling reporters that Haspel had been “a good deputy director,” citing the right dinner while 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 access to some material, telling CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday: “I’m positive we’re going to need to provide all the 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 exposed to Haspel a week ago, and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who recently shifted from yes to no using a Trump nominee mixed up in Bush-era legal memos that cleared the utilization of the interrogation tactics.

Manchin, an Intelligence Committee member, changed his stance on Steven Bradbury’s nomination to generally be Department of transportation general counsel after getting a personalized appeal from McCain. Provided that Manchin opposed Bradbury for a DOT role it’s not linked to national security, activists are hopeful that your red-state Democrat and frequent Trump ally may also nix Haspel.

“There’s no rational argument for opposing Bradbury’s nomination rather than opposing Haspel’s,” Scott Roehm, Washington office director to the nonprofit Center for Victims of Torture, said in a interview.

Manchin has declined to show how he’ll vote on Haspel or Pompeo prior to meetings with all the nominees. Pompeo met on Monday with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who may be eyeing a confirmation hearing the instant April 12 in the event the nomination documents are in in a timely manner.

Another Senate Democrat the left is closely watching on the nominations: Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who told POLITICO in a very Friday statement that "neither confirmation is really a sure thing."

Schumer told reporters marriage ceremony Pompeo and Haspel were tapped, however, that he’s not yet urging his caucus to come out in opposition. In case he doesn’t whip about the nominees, the grass-roots activists the party is counting on to be removed in November are usually usually disappointed.

"Rapid truth is no. You cannot find any reason behind any Democrats to vote to be sure of either Pompeo or Haspel," said Elizabeth Beavers, policy manager for your liberal group Indivisible.

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