Khashoggi murder: Central Intelligence Agency chief Haspel 'to brief Congress'

Geraldine Edwards
December 5, 2018

"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 the Saudi government is going to be in the hands of this man for a long time to come I find it very hard to do business because I think he's insane, I think he is risky and he has put the relationship at risk".

Corker added, "And if he (MBS) were in front of a jury, he would be convicted of murder in about 30 minutes". In a column for the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, Graham wrote that the killing and other moves by the Saudi regime showed "astounding arrogance entitlement" and disregard for global norms.

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.'

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said, referencing Trump administration comments that there is no "smoking gun" showing bi Salman ordered the killing.

Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote for the Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October in what USA officials have described as an elaborate plot.

The briefing will take place after the Central Intelligence Agency was excluded last week when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke with senators about the journalist's killing.

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"The views that I had before have only solidified", said Menendez, who has called for a strong U.S. response to Khashoggi's death and backs legislation to end all American support for the Saudi coalition waging war in Yemen, a conflict in which tens of thousands have been killed or starved to death. 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.

Senator Graham is also introducing a separate resolution to officially blame the Saudi crown prince for Khashoggi's death.

During that hearing, Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both parrotted the White House line that, as President Trump tweeted: "Maybe he did, maybe he didn't".

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"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. The Senate voted last week to debate the USA assistance, and additional Senate action is expected in the coming days.

"Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally, and the relationship is worth saving".

But, Stewart said, the United States has to continue relationships with those countries. The senator had previously said he would refuse to take a position on the question before hearing Haspel's testimony on the spy agency's findings, which differ from the positions voiced by the Trump administration. "Intelligence is only given to a few people within our system", Paul said Tuesday. "CIA Director Haspel should brief the full Senate without delay".

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