Senator Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) Tuesday said he would vote against President Trump's nominee to lead the CIA, even as Gina Haspel appeared headed for confirmation as the spy agency's director. "After spending several weeks carefully evaluating all of the information available to me about Ms. Haspel and her career, reviewing her confirmation hearing, speaking with current and former public officials, and meeting with her in person yesterday, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot support her confirmation as the director of the CIA," Jones said in a statement. "While her career has been impressive, Ms. Haspel's role in programs that conducted torture is very troubling; her refusal to acknowledge the immorality of such conduct even today with the benefit of hindsight is even more so and reflects poorly on our nation's reputation as a moral leader in the world. Her statement today that the 'enhanced interrogation program is not one the CIA should have undertaken' has not relieved my concerns, which are rooted in both the responsibility I feel as a senator and in my own deeply held faith."
Jones's opposition puts him at odds with Alabama's senior senator, Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa), who supports Haspel, and comes with political risks for Jones who faces reelection in a heavily Republican state in just two years. Several other Democrats have indicated they will support Haspel, virtually assuring her confirmation. The Senate Intelligence Committee was scheduled to vote Wednesday on Haspel's nomination. A confirmation vote by the full Senate was expected later in the week.