CIA Director Haspel to Brief Senate Leaders on Khashoggi's Death

Cheryl Sanders
December 5, 2018

Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel has agreed to brief a "small group" of U.S. lawmakers about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the chair of the Senate foreign relations committee said Monday.

Now senators who believe even more strongly that Mohammed helped coordinate Khashoggi's killing will explore legislative options to punish Saudi Arabia, including bills or amendments that could withdraw USA support of Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, impose additional sanctions, or end weapons sales to the country.

Khashoggi, a USA resident who wrote for the Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

Following the briefing by Gina Haspel Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called on President Trump to take a tougher stance with Riyadh. "There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw".

Mr Menendez has previously called for a strong U.S. reaction to Mr Khashoggi's death and supports legislation to end all USA support for the Saudi coalition embroiled in the Yemen war. MBS, the crown prince, is a wrecking ball.

A Senate source said Senate leaders would also participate in the briefing, which is scheduled for 11.30am ET. He said it seemed as though the White House's response to the Khashoggi killing was that "you can kill a journalist".

"I left the briefing with high confidence that my initial confidence is correct", said Sen. The senators who attended the briefing did not disclose what Haspel presented to them.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said there are still ongoing negotiations over amendments to the resolution.

Last week, under mounting pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle who wanted action against Riyadh, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Pentagon chief Jim Mattis held a closed-door all-senators briefing where they said there was no direct evidence linking the crown prince to the murder.

After the briefing with Haspel, South Carolina Republican Sen. 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. He has touted Saudi arms deals worth billions of dollars to the US and recently thanked Saudi Arabia for plunging oil prices.

Questioning Trump is not unprecedented for Republicans in Congress; the fact that they are going there on Pompeo and even Mattis, who is perhaps the most bipartisan figure in the Administration, shows the severe degree of concern about the lack of consequences.

The Yemen legislation, which may face another procedural vote this week, could set up a bitter year-end Senate floor fight over United States war powers.

Corker is confident that the crown prince is culpable in the murder. The Saudis have denied bin Salman's involvement. The House hasn't moved on the issue, and Speaker Paul Ryan last week said the Yemen resolution "isn't the way to go".

Other reports by iNewsToday