When President Trump made Gina Haspel the new Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) deputy director, there were many reports that recalled her reputation for being involved in a torture program during the Bush administration.

With Trump bringing Gina Haspel back to the CIA, many view it as further confirmation that he wants to bring back torture as during the presidential campaign, he received a lot of backlash from the opposition and his own party for saying that he would bring back waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse.”

Gina Haspel sued by CIA torture victims

President Trump also got a lot of backlash for his nominee attorney general Jeff Sessions for the Department of Justice (DOJ), who cleared a hurdle put in by Senate Democrats, over fears that he would make Donald Trump's dreams of becoming “the law and order president” a reality.

It's been reported that during a filing in a Washington State federal court last Wednesday, US attorneys, and officials from the DOJ made it clear that they would “prevent Gina Haspel from being deposed by two former CIA contractor psychologists,” according to a report by The Guardian.

As the story goes, the two psychologists are being held liable for the “enhanced interrogation” program (traditionally referred to as torture) as they designed it for the CIA. representatives for the four men who were tortured – one of them was killed by it – are the ones who brought the lawsuit which also targets Gina Haspel.

The two psychologists are James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen whose attorney Brian Paszamant said that Haspel was “centrally involved” which was recently confirmed by former CIA director Michael Morell who published his account with The Cipher Brief.

His article generally praises Haspel for her service but does acknowledge that she would be under “political fire” for her involvement with the torture program as it's been widely reported that she ran a “black site” prison in Thailand where she and other CIA officials waterboarded suspects in 2002.

Trump steps in to defend CIA torturers

More importantly, Morell defends her for destroying video evidence of torture repeating her saying that she was following orders. Various reports say that Morell admits that he “personally led an accountability exercise that cleared Haspel of any wrongdoing...” and much like Gina Haspel's defense, both psychologists are also asking for immunity for serving the government under the program.

They're reportedly seeking depositions from several CIA officials.

Two of the depositions the DOJ objected to were from Gina Haspel and an officer who had experience with the program who is only identified as John Doe. The DOJ claimed the “state secrets privilege” which human rights lawyers say is a way for the government to cover up wrongdoing. Thus far, it's said that this would be the first attempt by the DOJ under Trump to assert this privilege, which attempts to prevent the mentioned CIA officials, including James Cotsana from being deposed.

In a similar case, Reuters also reported on the case of Sabrina De Sousa who kidnapped a terrorist suspect in 2003 and sent them to a black site in Egypt, a tactic that is referred to as extraordinary rendition on behalf of the U.S. government. The suspect was eventually released but not before being tortured. The Trump administration is apparently trying to intervene as she is held by Portuguese authorities for the Milan kidnapping.

She's expected to be extradited to Italy where she faces four years in prison. De Sousa is apparently one of 26 Americans who was convicted by the Italian justice system. She has attempted to defend herself in much the same way as those mentioned earlier, saying that the rendition program she was involved in was funded by Congress and approved by senior government officials in all related states, including Italy. Even if President Trump doesn't bring back the torture program, with his protection of De Sousa and Gina Haspel; CIA torture still survives under Trump.