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Senate panel votes to approve Brennan as CIA director

    CIA Director nominee John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee in this Feb. 7 file photo. 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 today on Brennan

WASHINGTON » John Brennan is one step closer to becoming director of the CIA.

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted today to approve President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the spy agency, setting the nomination up for consideration by the full Senate.

The vote came after the White House agreed to provide the committee with access to the secret legal opinions written by the Justice Department that justify the use of lethal drone strikes against terror suspects, including American citizens.

Senate Republicans also are using Brennan’s nomination to push for classified records about the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya.

Brennan is currently serving as the top counterterrorism adviser in the White House.

Obama announced Brennan’s nomination in January and the committee held a confirmation hearing in early February.

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