Live updates: Biden continues focus on coronavirus; Senate hearing for intelligence pick delayed

12:15 p.m.

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Senate hearing delayed for Biden’s director of national intelligence nominee

By John Wagner, Shane Harris and Ellen Nakashima

A hearing scheduled for Biden’s nominee to serve as the nation’s top intelligence official, Avril D. Haines, has been postponed until next week, according to leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, would have been the first of Biden’s nominees to receive a Senate hearing in advance of Biden’s arrival in the White House next week.

But the hearing was delayed after objections that it be held on an expedited basis. It was to be conducted virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic and heightened security at the U.S. Capitol after last week’s attack by a pro-Trump mob seeking to overturn the results of the November presidential election.

“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,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the acting committee chairman, and Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), the vice chairman, said in a statement.

Biden transition spokesman Ned Price said in a statement Thursday night that Haines “was looking forward to appearing before the Committee tomorrow.”

“We are disappointed the hearing was delayed, particularly given the urgency to have national security leaders in place in this time of crisis,” Price said. “Nevertheless, DNI-designate Haines eagerly awaits the opportunity to answer the Committee’s questions next week.”

Source: WP