'Not a Smoking Gun...A Smoking Saw': Senators Convinced on Khashoggi Killing

Arturo Kim
December 7, 2018

But others, such as Graham, favour a broader measure that ceases arms sales to Saudi Arabia and slaps sanctions against all those responsible, including the crown prince.

"You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion and that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi", Graham said.

"She didn't tell them anything that (Mattis and Pompeo didn't say)", the Texas Republican said, "so any senator who wants the information has had access to it".

The prosecutor's office has concluded that there is "strong suspicion" that Saud al-Qahtani and General Ahmed al-Asiri, both removed from their positions in October, were among the planners of Khashoggi's Oct. 2 killing at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, the officials said.

The resolution, which is mainly symbolic, says Saudi Arabia's crown prince is "complicit" in the killing. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said the chamber will have a briefing from intelligence officials next week on Khashoggi and "we'll know more after that".

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On Tuesday, bowing to demands from Republicans such as Sen. Still, the Senate voted 63-37 to discharge the Yemen resolution from the Foreign Relations committee for consideration last week. Chris Murphy, a Democrat Connecticut who co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution calling for an end to the U.S. role in Yemen.

He explained how steps have been taken to punish those who are known to have been involved with Khashoggi's murder. "I think there's a lot of interest in trying to push aside amendments to get to the final vote as quickly as possible on our side of the aisle, and you know, all we need is a little support from Republicans". It's not clear whether Haspel will be there, the aide said. "Period. We believe in "freedom of the press" here, and we should be promoting that ideal around the world, not excusing it because it's politically convenient in excusing the blunders of our president". The Saudi coalition faced criticism for indiscriminately bombing civilian targets and infrastructure, though the Trump administration argues the situation would be much worse without US assistance. MIT is among dozens of US universities that accept funding from the Saudi government, but it has stood out for its close relationship with the country's national oil company and other government-owned institutions.

"My advice has been to support to continually Martin Griffiths", Dunford said, referring to the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen. 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. The resolution cites the 1973 War Powers Resolution passed in the wake of the Vietnam war that asserts Congress's role in authorizing war.

After that briefing, Graham threatened to withhold his vote on key legislation until he heard from Haspel. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Sen.

Others tried to downplay Haspel's briefing.

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