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Senators confident that crown prince was ‘complicit’ in Khashoggi kill

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Jamal Khashoggi crown prince protest
A
demonstrator dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman (C) with blood on his hands protests with others outside
the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, on October 8, 2018,
demanding justice for missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. –
US President Donald Trump said October 10, 2018 he has talked to
Saudi authorities ‘at the highest level’ to demand answers over
what happened to missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump told
reporters at the White House that he talked to the Saudi
leadership ‘more than once’ since Khashoggi, a US resident and
Washington Post contributor, vanished on October 2 after entering
the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Jim
WATSON / AFP


  • Senators from across party lines on Wednesday announced
    with a “high level of confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince
    Mohammed bin Salman was “complicit” in the brutal killing of
    journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October.
  • Bipartisan senators introduced a measure calling for
    the crown prince to be “held accountable” for a number of human
    rights abuses, and put him at the helm of the “abhorrent” plot
    to execute Khashoggi. 
  • Though the resolution is non-binding, the senators are
    hoping to spur the government and the international community
    to punish the crown prince. 
  • The move pins lawmakers against Trump, who has doubled
    down on his defense of the Saudi crown prince
    this month
    , and said the US-Saudi relationship is
    “paramount” in his decision making.

Senators from across party lines on Wednesday announced with a
“high level of confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin
Salman was “complicit” in the brutal killing of journalist Jamal
Khashoggi in October.

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Dianne
Feinstein (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Todd Young (R-IN), and Chris
Coons (D-DE) introduced a measure calling for the crown prince to
be “held accountable” for a lengthy list of
human rights abuses
, including
the
humanitarian crisis in Yemen
, the
jailing of Saudi activists without charge
, the ruthless

detention and extortion of his critics

The resolution also concluded that the crown prince was “in
control of the security forces at the time of Jamal Khashoggi’s
murder,” which would have put him at the helm of the “abhorrent”
execution plot.

The non-binding resolution calls on the government and the
international community to hold Mohammed bin Salman accountable
for Khashoggi’s death. If approved, it would put the Senate on
record shifting the blame directly onto the crown prince.

There is no doubt that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
knew about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,
condoned it, and at worst was actually involved in directing it,”
Rubio
said in a statement
Wednesday. 

“I believe it’s vitally important to US national security
interests to make a definitive statement about the brutal murder
of an American resident – Mr. Khashoggi – who has three American
citizen children,” Graham
said
in a parallel statement.

The measure follows CIA briefings on the investigation into
the high-profile murder
to President Trump
and, later, to
a small group of senators
. The CIA had
previously concluded that Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s
killing
based on several pieces of intelligence, including
audio recordings and security footage. 

But as the Khashoggi investigation closes in on Saudi
leadership, the White House has been slow to act.

Many have condemned Trump’s response to Khashoggi’s
execution, and have accused the president of helping the Saudi
leadership “cover
up
” its wrongdoings.

Trump has doubled down on his defense of the Saudi crown
prince
this month
, and said the US-Saudi relationship is “paramount”
in his decision making.

Still, even if the crown prince is implicated in the
crime,
experts say US business ties to Saudi Arabia
run deep,
making it difficult to punish the rogue heir to the
throne

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