U.S. Senate confirms Biden intel pick after Republicans cite Huawei link

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Joe Biden's nominee Christopher Fonzone to be legal counsel at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, after some Republicans balked at some legal work he had done for Chinese tech giant Huawei.

The vote was 55 to 45 to confirm Fonzone. Five Republicans joined Biden's fellow Democrats to support the nomination.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton said the Huawei ties were a reason to question Fonzone's judgment. "He (Fonzone) had spent most of his career in government, primarily in national security roles. I cannot imagine that he was not aware of the China threat in general or the Huawei threat in particular," Cotton said before the vote.

Fonzone had told the Senate Intelligence Committee that he did less than 50 hours of legal work for both Huawai and China's Ministry of Commerce while working at the law firm Sidley Austin.

Many officials in Washington have targeted Huawei for years as a security threat to U.S. interests.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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