“This is about trust, and the public is not being afforded an open and honest debate about the nominee,” Heinrich said after the meeting. “There are questions that absolutely need to be answered publicly, and given her position, she can make the choice to do so. As the nominee, she owes that to the public.”
“If these answers aren’t going to be provided to the public, how can we trust that the nominee will be open to oversight and accountability?” he asked.
The committee’s vote has not yet been scheduled.
Haspel, a career operations officer who is the agency’s deputy director, considered withdrawing her nomination last week amid concerns over her role in the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques, officials told NBC News.
Haspel was once the base chief at a secret prison in Thailand where an al Qaeda detainee was waterboarded and confined to a box, several officials have told NBC News.
Haspel later wrote a cable that included an order from her boss instructing CIA officers to shred video of interrogation sessions.
In a statement announcing his opposition to Haspel’s nomination, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said in March that her role at the prison should “disqualify” her from the director’s job. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has also questioned her role in using “enhanced interrogation.”