Udall backs down, votes to approve CIA counsel
The Senate approved a new top lawyer for the CIA on Thursday after U.S. Sen. Mark Udall. D-Colo., lifted an obstacle he put in the way of Caroline Krass’ nomination.
Udall had opposed Krass’ nomination in a hearing last year, citing Krass’ opposition to making public a classified study of CIA detention and interrogation methods. He also placed a procedural hold on the nomination, preventing it from going forward until Thursday.
“We need to correct the record on the CIA’s coercive detention and interrogation program and declassify the Senate Intelligence Committee’s exhaustive study of it,” Udall said in a statement, adding that he released the hold on the nomination. He also voted for Krass and said he supported her to help change the direction of the agency.
Krass replaces Robert Eatinger, the acting general counsel, who was involved in the interrogation program. Eatinger is named at least 1,600 times in the report on the program, according to the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who heads the committee.
Krass came under fire in her Dec. 13 confirmation hearing when she told Feinstein that she did not believe members of the committee had the right to see documents that provided the legal basis for CIA interrogation methods such as waterboarding.
Udall said in a statement Thursday that the president has stated “an unequivocal commitment to supporting the declassification of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report” on detention and interrogation.
The classified 6,300-page committee report has been mischaracterized, Udall has said in pressing for it to be made public.