WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate intelligence committee on Wednesday postponed until next week a vote on the confirmation of White House aide John Brennan to be CIA director, dashing hopes of Democratic leaders who had hoped to hold a vote on Thursday.
The committee’s Republican vice chairman, Senator Saxby Chambliss, said the panel expects to hold the vote on Tuesday.
No immediate explanation was available for why the vote was delayed. However, the Obama administration has been at odds with members of the committee’s Democratic majority over White House unwillingness to disclose some highly classified legal documents related to “targeted killings,” including the use of lethal drone strikes against suspected militants.
While the administration allowed members of the intelligence committee to review copies of four such documents, it has refused to turn over what Senate officials believe are at least seven related memos.
On Wednesday afternoon, administration officials met with intelligence committee members to discuss the contents of the disputed documents. Copies of the material were not turned over to the committee, however, said a source familiar with the matter.
An aide to Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat on the panel, said on Tuesday that the senator did not believe the intelligence committee should proceed with a vote on Brennan’s confirmation until the documents are sent to Capitol Hill. The aide could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Reporting By Mark Hosenball and Patricia Zengerle in Washington. Editing by Warren Strobel and Stacey Joyce