Senators Say Crown Prince Is Guilty in Khashoggi Murder After CIA Briefing

06 December, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • US senators convinced of Saudi crown prince’s role in Khashoggi murder

USA lawmakers on Tuesday heard the CIA's assessment about Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman's role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi first hand from the agency's director, who confirmed and affirmed what they have long suspected.

Prince Mohammed "is a wrecking ball", Sen.

Turkey will not hesitate to consult worldwide quarters if a deadlock is reached on the Khashoggi probe, the foreign minister said on Wednesday. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), who commandeered a press conference setup during the briefing to denounce the "deep state" wanting to keep everyone in the dark.

Saudi Arabia maintains the crown prince did not know anything about the murder, which it claims was an accident.

Corker said he believes if the crown prince were put on trial, a jury would find him guilty in "about 30 minutes".

"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.

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. Saudi Arabia always asks for information from us.

The president has been briefed by the Central Intelligence Agency, but his takeaway was dramatically different from that of the senators.

On November 20, he said: "It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event - maybe he did and maybe he didn't". Trump said. "That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi".

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", Graham added, taking a shot at Defense Secretary James Mattis, who told senators last week that there was "no smoking gun" linking bin Salman to the killing.

Graham, who has become one of the president's most vocal allies, said there may not be a "smoking gun", but that there was a "smoking saw", a reference to a bone saw that investigators said was used to cut up Khashoggi's body. Pompeo offered similar remarks, saying there was "no direct reporting" making the link.

Senators would not describe the evidence presented by Haspel.

Some of the most important evidence may be an audio recording of the murder that Turkey said it has distributed, but Graham said that was not played in Tuesday's briefing.

Following the investigation into the disappearance of the Washington Post columnist, Turkish prosecutors announced that a group of Saudi citizens had arrived in Istanbul with the objective to kill the Saudi journalist.

Unconvinced by them and incensed by the administration's refusal to send the Central Intelligence Agency director to the hearing, Republicans and Democrats had joined hands to vote to bring to a legislative measure halting U.S. support to the Saudi-led ruling forces in Yemen fighting Iranian-backed Houthis. The vote last week set up debate on the measure, which could happen as soon as next week, but senators are still in negotiations on whether to amend it and what it should say. "And at the same time what is protecting US interests, what is going to counter Shia extremists; what will help bring stability; what will help bring an end to the war in Yemen".



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