Central Intelligence Agency briefing on Khashoggi solidifies senators’ view of Prince Mohammed’s complicity

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has denied complicity in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi
Credit
AFP

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who demanded the briefing with Haspel, said there is "zero chance" the crown prince wasn't involved in Khashoggi's death. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, where he had gone to collect some papers in connection with his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman.

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".

He also said he expected a vote in the Senate next week on a war powers resolution to stop U.S. support for the war in Yemen, which has produced one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters.

"I would imagine in a Democratic administration, I would be all over them for being in the pocket of Saudi Arabia", Graham said of Mattis and Pompeo. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said, "All evidence points to that, that all this leads back to the crown prince". Graham wants to designate Mohammed bin Salman as complicit in the journalist's murder, stop arms sales to the country and now even opposes the Saudi war on Yemen.

"In my opinion, I'd like to do something that actually has teeth", Corker said. That afternoon, senators frustrated with the briefing and the lack of response to Khashoggi's killing overwhelmingly voted to move forward with consideration of the Yemen resolution, 63-37.

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Trump has brushed aside the murder, affirming that the kingdom is a "great ally" to the U.S. He also argued that supporting the kingdom would be putting "America first".

The proposed resolution says Prince Mohammed was in control of security forces at the time of Khashoggi's murder and that the Senate has "a high level of confidence" that the prince was complicit in the killing.

Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, echoed those views. It's not clear whether Haspel will be there, the aide said. "The motion to proceed's going to pass, and we're going to be in a courageous new world", the Connecticut Democrat told Roll Call on Tuesday. As the leader of the free world, we have to accomplish two goals: defend human rights while also attempting to maintain important relationships with key allies that we hope will help us bring stability to critical parts of the world.

Sen. Rand Paul, meanwhile, went to Twitter to voice his opinion, smashing the caps lock to say "ENOUGH!" in regards to Saudi Arabia's behavior. The Saudi coalition faced criticism for indiscriminately bombing civilian targets and infrastructure, though the Trump administration argues the situation would be much worse without USA assistance. "And yet we have to have a relationship with these individuals or with these countries". The assistance began under the Obama administration.

The report didn't detail how much MIT receives from Saudi sources, but it said 52 percent has covered "sponsored research" over the last three years, primarily from state-owned institutions like Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's national oil company; SABIC, a national chemical company; and the King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology, a research center. Though it was passed almost 50 years ago, there is still a debate over whether the resolution is constitutional.

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