Rand Paul opposes new Trump nominee due to his torturous past work in the government

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16: U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) makes remarks prior to US President Donald J. Trump signing H.J. Res. 38, disapproving the rule submitted by the US Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on February 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. The Department of Interior's Stream Protection Rule, which was signed during the final month of the Obama administration, 'addresses the impacts of surface coal mining operations on surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites,' according to the Congress.gov summary of the resolution. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted against President Trump’s nominee for a senior Transportation Department position on Monday, the day Paul returned to the Senate after being allegedly assaulted by his neighbor.

Steven Bradbury, Trump’s pick for general counsel at the Transportation Department, faced backlash in 2005 for his authoring of “torture memos” that argued the legal justifications for “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

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“I voted against Steven Bradbury’s nomination because you shouldn’t get to author memos on torturing people & then get another government job,” Paul tweeted.

RARE POV: Rand Paul: Why I voted against the new CIA director

During George W. Bush’s presidency, Bradbury wrote three memos in 2005 authorizing the use of 13 different techniques to use against “high value detainees.” The techniques included “dietary manipulation, facial slap or insult slap, cramped confinement, water dousing and waterboarding.”

Bradbury defended his writings, arguing the “questions we addressed raised difficult issues about which reasonable people could disagree.”

When President Trump defended the use of waterboarding in January, saying it “absolutely works,” Paul told CNN “it’s currently against the law and I hope it will remain against the law.”

Paul has voted in the past against administration picks he feels have violated due process and other constitutional limits, including the torturing of detainees.

Sen. Paul voted against confirming CIA Director Mike Pompeo in January, explaining his position in an op-ed at Rare.

“In the years following 9/11, we let fear get the better of our responsibility to liberty,” Paul wrote. “Of the 119 people detained by the CIA, 39 were tortured. In our haste, at least 26 people were wrongfully detained, not even meeting the government’s own standard for detention.”

“Despite this evidence, many in Congress have continued to maintain that waterboarding is not torture,” Paul added.

Despite Paul’s protests, Mike Pompeo was appointed head of the CIA.

Steven Bradbury was confirmed in a 50-47 vote.

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