The Intercept is reporting that the Senate Intelligence Committee has withdrawn a key piece of evidence in the Gina Haspel confirmation hearing.
The document, a classified memo which detailed Haspel’s role in torture, had been available for viewing to senators and staff with security clearance until Monday morning.
Senior aid to Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) Elizabeth Falcone announced the decision to restrict access to the memo on Monday morning via email.
Previously housed in a Secure Compartmented Information Facility housed within Congress, the memo has been removed and staff will no longer be able to access it.
Senators will only be able to view the memo upon request.
Warner, who previously released the statement below in criticism of Haspel’s choice not to declassify relevant information, has apparently changed his position.
“Given that we are only two days from the date of your confirmation hearing on May 9, 2018, this lack of transparency for the American people about someone nominated for a cabinet-level position is unacceptable. As the acting Director of the CIA, it is in your power to order the declassification of relevant material or to hasten the process. I urge you to take immediate action to remedy these problems.”
Since Haspel’s nomination hinges on winning over Democrats like Warner, his move raises concern that he may cast his vote for her tomorrow.
Even worse, few senators have reportedly viewed the memo, meaning that the majority of senators will cast their vote without having taken into account all available and relevant information.