Senate postpones first confirmation hearing for crucial position in Biden administration

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence postponed Friday’s confirmation hearing for President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to be the next director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, according to two sources familiar. It is not clear if the hearing will be rescheduled before or after Wednesday’s inauguration.

One of the sources said the timeline for confirmation is not expected to be altered significantly. The source said the reason for the delay was a senator wanted the hearing in person, and Friday’s session was slated to be remote.

Acting Intelligence Chair Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, and Vice Chair Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, released a joint statement Thursday night saying the committee is working “as fast as possible.”

“Despite the unusual circumstances on Capitol Hill, the committee is working in good faith to move this nominee as fast as possible and ensure the committee’s members have an opportunity to question the nominee in both open and closed settings. The Director of National Intelligence plays a crucial role in overseeing the 18 agencies that make up our nation’s Intelligence Community, and the committee looks forward to holding a hearing next week with Ms. Haines,” the statement read.

Haines, a former top CIA official and deputy national security adviser, would be the first woman to lead the US intelligence community if confirmed by the Senate.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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