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US senators: Saudi Crown Prince ‘ordered, monitored’ killing of Khashoggi

By News Express on 05/12/2018

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•Murdered Saudi Journalist, Khashoggi
•Murdered Saudi Journalist, Khashoggi

Republican senators reacted with outrage Tuesday after leaving a classified briefing about the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, promising swift action to confront both Saudi Arabia and the White House's timid response to the killing.

GOP Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are leading the charge to offer new legislation that would rebuke Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as potentially limit US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, saying their push was bolstered by the classified briefing, which detailed intelligence linking the Saudi leader to the murder of the US-based journalist.

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw," said Graham, referring to reports that the Saudi team had included a forensic expert who arrived with equipment to dismember Khashoggi's body.

Referring to the prince, who is known by his initials, Graham said, "You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intrinsically involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi."

'Ordered, monitored'

Corker added that the prince "ordered, monitored, the killing" of the father of four.

"If he were in front of a jury, he would be convicted of murder in about 30 minutes," Corker said.

The strong comments are the latest development in a controversy that has been building over the last two months as the Saudis have offered changing explanations about the disappearance and murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Trump has made a concerted decision to avoid rebuking Saudi Arabia, claiming the kingdom's role in affecting global oil prices and its arms deals with the United States are more important to the national interest.

Trump, as well as Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have downplayed the crown prince's ties to the murder, with Pompeo saying there was no "direct evidence" linking him to Khashoggi's death.

No doubt, senators say

"Maybe he did and maybe he didn't," Trump said last month about whether the crown prince had known about the murder.

But senator after senator leaving the CIA briefing said there's no doubt that bin Salman was involved, adding that the United States cannot ignore the matter.

"Somebody should be punished," said Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, a Republican from Alabama. "Now, the question is how do you separate the Saudi crown prince and his group from the nation itself? That might be the real policy question."

Indeed, after Haspel's briefing, the groundswell of certainty and disgust will likely complicate the administration's efforts to protect the prince and its relationship with Saudi Arabia, even as lawmakers have yet to coalesce around a legislative response. (CNN)

Source News Express

Posted 05/12/2018 11:46:36 AM

 

 

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