US Senators conclude Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
By Trista Youssef
Rabat – Following a briefing with the director of the CIA, Gina Haspel, senior senators from both the Democratic and Republican parties decided to hold Mohammed Bin Salman responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi.
Gina Haspel briefed Senators in the Foreign Relations, Armed Services, and Appropriations araKhashoggiand Intelligence Committees on evidence collected by the CIA regarding Khashoggi’ death that took place on October 2nd in Istanbul’s Saudi consulate.
President Trump continues to deflect blame away from the crown prince in order to maintain an economic relationship with Saudi Arabia. The US continues to give military support to Saudi Arabia in Yemen and continues to profit from arms exports to the Gulf state.
Secretary of Defense, James Mattis and Secretary of State , Mike Pompeo have both defended Trump’s position on Saudi Arabia, claiming there is no “smoking gun” linking bin Salman to the murder.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham stated, “There is not a smoking gun – there is a smoking saw,” referring to Khashoggi’s dismemberment carried out by Saudi officials. “You have to be willfully blind not to see it”, Graham added.
Chairman of Appropriations Committee, Richard C. Shelby, stated that “all evidence points to that, that all this leads back to the crown prince,” adding that “This is conduct that none of us in America would approve of in any way.”
Shelby commented on the compromising position facing US administration due to its strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia. “Somebody should be punished, but the question is: ‘How do you separate the Saudi crown prince from the nation itself?’” said Senator Shelby.
US policymakers remain divided on the issue, as was reflected in last Wednesday’s 63-37 vote advancing a Senate motion to limit Trump’s support for Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen.