Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Sean Penn Arrives in Istanbul to Shoot Documentary About Khashoggi's Murder

Sean Penn Arrives in Istanbul to Shoot Documentary About Khashoggi's Murder

"I have zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept appraised of the situation all the way through it", Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker told reporters after Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel briefed a small group of senators.

Turkish officials told Reuters that former Mohammed bin Salman aide Saud al-Qahtani and former deputy intelligence chief General Ahmed al-Asiri are suspected of helping to orchestrate the October 2 killing. "And I think if the Senate can make that statement, it puts us on a new path to trying to have a relationship with Saudi Arabia that is beneficial and sustainable".

I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction - and they are free to do so. After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh later said Khashoggi had been killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.

In terms of what can be done to punish the crown prince, Lobb explained that Congress could work toward ceasing USA support - including military hardware, intelligence and logistical cooperation - for the Saudi-led war in Yemen against the Houthi rebels.

Many Democrats want a "straight up or down vote" on a war powers resolution to end all USA support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen, without amendments.

A bipartisan group of six senators introduced a nonbinding resolution Wednesday stating that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was "complicit" in the October killing of activist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

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US intelligence officials have concluded that the crown prince must have at least known of the plot, but Trump has been reluctant to pin the blame. 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.

President Trump has equivocated about assigning blame for Khashoggi's killing, frustrating lawmakers from both parties.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who supported the resolution, said last week that the Trump administration's weak response to Khashoggi's murder had damaged the nation's credibility overseas.

Two weeks ago Trump said, "I don't know".

Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said after the briefing that somebody should be punished.

Despite these heavy suspicions, the administration of President Donald Trump has sought to distance the Saudi leadership from the affair and insisted there is no direct proof Prince Mohammed ordered the killing.

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