CIA Director Haspel to Brief Senate Leaders on Khashoggi's Death

CIA Director Haspel to Brief Senate Leaders on Khashoggi's Death

CIA Director Haspel to Brief Senate Leaders on Khashoggi's Death

Two key US Republican senators said Tuesday after a briefing by the CIA's director they have "zero" doubt Saudi Arabia's crown prince directed the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"There's not a smoking gun", said Graham, who then referred to reports that the Saudi team included a forensic expert who arrived with equipment to dismember Khashoggi's body. If he was in front of a jury he would have a unanimous verdict in 30 minutes.

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", Sen.

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.

Ms Haspel annoyed Senators last week when she failed to appear before them when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis addressed the issue. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

Republican senators emerged from a briefing today about journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing and essentially accused the Trump Administration of misleading the USA about it - and even covering it up for Saudi Arabia. The vote last week allowed the Senate to debate 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.

Graham called the evidence overwhelming, and said those who deny the crown prince's involvement - including President Trump - are ignoring the evidence.

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.'

"It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event", Trump said in a lengthy statement November 20. The Senate voted last week to debate the USA assistance, and additional Senate action is expected in the coming days.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who has already established himself as a Trump critic, was even bolder in his criticism.

Graham went on to say he will not support US arms sales to Saudi Arabia until all who are responsible for Khashoggi's murder are "brought to justice". He said it seemed as though the White House's response to the Khashoggi killing was that "you can kill a journalist".

"We are a coequal branch of government exercising leadership to safeguard the country's long-term interests, values and reputation", wrote Graham, a frequent ally of the president.

Chase Thomas, executive director of the left-leaning Alliance for a Better Utah, said Stewart was continuing to blindly defend Trump at all costs.

"And the second thing is what is in the best interest of the United States and this is a very, very hard challenge because we have to, on one hand, hold them accountable, including the crown prince, for whatever action he may be involved with", the Utah congressman said. He was not at the Central Intelligence Agency briefing because it was limited to certain foreign policy committees.

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