With the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expected to vote against recommending President Donald Trump’s Secretary of State pick Mike Pompeo to the full Senate on Monday, 50 grassroots organizations sent a letter (pdf) to Democratic senators denouncing Pompeo’s “disturbing” record of warmongering and urging them to block his confirmation when it reaches the floor for a final vote as early as this week.
“We already know Trump is a danger to our democracy; we should not heighten that danger by giving him willing tools who have demonstrated a disregard for the rule of law and all that we hold dear.”
—50 progressive groups “Pompeo has claimed all Muslims are ‘potentially complicit’ in terrorism. He has pushed for war over diplomacy with Iran,” reads the letter, which was signed by Peace Action, CodePink, Win Without War, and dozens of other progressive groups. “During his tenure in the House of Representatives, he evangelized for torture.”
The organizations also called on the Senate to reject Trump’s pick to replace Pompeo as CIA chief, Gina Haspel, whose Senate hearing is scheduled for May 9.
“The confirmation of Haspel or Pompeo would normalize torture, jeopardize human rights, increase the likelihood of war and of war crimes—and empower the worst impulses of Trump and [national security adviser John] Bolton,” the groups argue. “We already know Trump is a danger to our democracy; we should not heighten that danger by giving him willing tools who have demonstrated a disregard for the rule of law and all that we hold dear.”
The groups’ letter was delivered as hopes of Democratic unity against Pompeo diminished further on Monday, after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) became the second Democrat to announce that he will vote to confirm Pompeo.
The first Democrat to back Pompeo, as Common Dreams reported last week, was Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), whose declaration of support for the “committed Islamophobe” was denounced by progressives as “disgusting.”
Even if Pompeo is rejected on Monday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—where every Democrat is expected to join Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in voting “no”—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can still bring him to the floor for a full vote.
Pompeo will likely only need one Democratic vote to make it through the full Senate.
“If confirmed, Pompeo would become the first nominee to win a Cabinet post without a committee endorsement since 1945,” the Washington Post‘s John Wagner noted on Monday.
Read the progressive groups’ full letter urging Democrats to use their power to stop Pompeo from becoming America’s top diplomat: