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Senate Panel OKs Nominee for CIA

  • FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, CIA Director nominee John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Brennan's nomination to be director of the CIA is set for a key test before the Senate Intelligence Committee as the committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday, March 5, 2013, on Brennan, who is currently serving as President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser in the White House.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, CIA Director nominee John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Brennan's nomination to be director of the CIA is set for a key test before the Senate Intelligence Committee as the committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday, March 5, 2013, on Brennan, who is currently serving as President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser in the White House. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, CIA Director nominee John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Brennan's nomination to be director of the CIA is set for a key test before the Senate Intelligence Committee as the committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday, March 5, 2013, on Brennan, who is currently serving as President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser in the White House.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, CIA Director nominee John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Brennan's nomination to be director of the CIA is set for a key test before the Senate Intelligence Committee as the committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday, March 5, 2013, on Brennan, who is currently serving as President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser in the White House. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, as she arrives for a closed-door committee hearing to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, as she arrives for a closed-door committee hearing to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, as she arrives for a closed-door committee hearing to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, as she arrives for a closed-door committee hearing to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., right, arrives for a closed-door committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Washington, to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., right, arrives for a closed-door committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Washington, to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., right, arrives for a closed-door committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Washington, to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., right, arrives for a closed-door committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Washington, to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, CIA Director nominee John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Brennan's nomination to be director of the CIA is set for a key test before the Senate Intelligence Committee as the committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday, March 5, 2013, on Brennan, who is currently serving as President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser in the White House.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
  • FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2013 file photo, CIA Director nominee John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Brennan's nomination to be director of the CIA is set for a key test before the Senate Intelligence Committee as the committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday, March 5, 2013, on Brennan, who is currently serving as President Barack Obama's top counterterrorism adviser in the White House.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, as she arrives for a closed-door committee hearing to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, as she arrives for a closed-door committee hearing to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., right, arrives for a closed-door committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Washington, to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
  • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., right, arrives for a closed-door committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, in Washington, to talk about CIA Director nominee John Brennan. The White House is providing members of the committee with access to all of the top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects as the Obama administration seeks to clear the way for confirmation of John Brennan to run the CIA, Feinstein announced Tuesday.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Washington — The Senate Intelligence Committee voted yesterday to approve President Obama’s pick to lead the CIA after winning a behind-the-scenes battle with the White House over access to a series of top-secret legal opinions that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects, including American citizens.

John Brennan’s installation at the spy agency has been delayed as Senate Democrats and Republicans have pressed the Obama administration to allow a review of the classified documents prepared by the Justice Department. The senators have argued they can’t perform adequate oversight without reviewing the contents of the opinions, but the White House had resisted requests for full disclosure.

The intelligence committee’s chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a statement that the committee voted 12-3 to send Brennan’s nomination to the full Senate for confirmation. The panel’s deliberations were held behind closed doors. Feinstein said all eight Democrats on the committee voted yes. She did not identify the Republican senators who voted against him.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., the committee vice chairman, said he voted against Brennan because he didn’t think Brennan would create the kind of “trust relationship” between Congress and the CIA. But Chambliss said he would not encourage other Republican senators to attempt a filibuster of the nomination.

“He’ll probably be confirmed,” Chambliss said.

Feinstein said the Senate should act quickly to confirm Brennan, who spent 25 years at the CIA before later becoming Obama’s top counterterrorism and homeland security adviser in the White House.

Although Brennan has made it out of the committee, Republicans have threatened to hold up his nomination unless the White House supplies them with classified information, including emails among top U.S. national security officials, detailing the Obama administration’s actions immediately following the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.