Central Intelligence Agency director to brief Senate leaders on Khashoggi death

Posted December 05, 2018

After a briefing from CIA Director Gina Haspel, Senate leaders promptly declared Tuesday they were convinced that Saudi Arabia's crown prince was behind the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Bob Corker, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, adding that if it were a murder case sent to a jury, "he would be convicted in 30 minutes".

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Haspel would conduct a briefing.

Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'
Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'

Joining Corker in his denunciations was Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who will call for a Congressional resolution citing the Crown Prince as complicit in Khashoggi's murder.

He argued that Pompeo and Mattis needed to be asked specifically if they disagreed with the CIA's conclusion there was "no smoking gun" to link the crown prince to the murder, as Mattis has claimed.

After reports that the Central Intelligence Agency concluded that the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's assassination in the Istanbul consulate on October 2, Trump issued a statement saying US-Saudi relations and oil market stability were too important to rock over the scandal.

"Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally", Graham tweeted after Tuesday's briefing.

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Republican senators emerged from a briefing today about journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing and essentially accused the Trump Administration of misleading the United States about it - and even covering it up for Saudi Arabia.

Graham said after the briefing that he would push for a nonbinding resolution that the crown prince was "complicit" in Khashoggi's murder.

"It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event", Trump said in a lengthy statement November 20.

"I'm not going to destroy the world economy and I'm not going to destroy the economy for our country by being foolish with Saudi Arabia", Trump said at the time. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, who has called for a strong USA reaction to Khashoggi's death and backs legislation to end all US support for the Saudi coalition waging war in Yemen. A deep state involves what some believe is an entrenched bureaucracy that runs the government regardless of who is president.

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That reluctance to blame the crown prince has enraged some Republicans. Trump has touted Saudi arms deals worth billions of dollars to the US and recently thanked Saudi Arabia for plunging oil prices.

Graham said that you'd have to be "willfully blind" to not know Mohammed was responsible - a clear rebuke of Trump's argument that this whole thing resides in some kind of grey area. "CIA Director Haspel should brief the full Senate without delay".

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