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Home / Press Release / Trump Administration Should Release Information to Clarify Whether Haspel Lied to Senate Committee
May 10, 2018

Trump Administration Should Release Information to Clarify Whether Haspel Lied to Senate Committee

Washington, D.C.—Following inconsistencies between public reporting and Gina Haspel’s testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, Human Rights First today called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make public the Durham report, an examination of the CIA’s destruction of 92 video tapes documenting abuse of detainees in custody.

During her nomination hearing for CIA director, Haspel claimed that she was told by her then-boss Jose Rodriguez that he would seek approval from the CIA director to destroy the tapes. Rodriguez has said that he told Haspel he intended to act unilaterally, and that Haspel did not object, even though she was aware of high-level objections to destroying the tapes.   

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) today also called for the DOJ to release the Durham report in order to clarify Haspel’s record.

“Haspel’s answers at the hearing were incredibly troubling. Her testimony directly contradicts what her then-boss, Jose Rodriguez, is saying about how the torture tapes were destroyed. The Senate—and the public—need to know all the facts before they can fully consider her nomination. Only by releasing the Durham report—and all other relevant information—can we gain clarity on this troubling set of events,” said Human Rights First’s Raha Wala.

As an example of Haspel potentially misleading the committee, Rodriguez recounted in his book that he told Haspel he was “going to make the decision myself” and that “she was concerned that I was taking this risk on my own—that I was putting myself in this situation,” but that “she didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’”

“Whether or not Haspel knew ahead of time that her cable ordering the destruction would be used to disregard objections from senior officials at the CIA, Congress, and White House is a huge unknown that must be cleared up before senators decide whether or not to support her nomination,” added Wala.

For more information see Human Rights First’s fact sheet that compares, side-by-side, the contradiction in question. To speak with Wala, contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.