Senators Introduce Bipartisan Resolution to Saudi Murder of Khashoggi

Republican senators reacted with outrage Tuesday after leaving a classified briefing about the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, promising swift action to confront both Saudi Arabia and the White House's timid response to the killing.

Mr Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and inside was tortured, drugged and dismembered before being disposed of.

The CIA's assessment is reportedly based on intercepted communications and a recording from within the Saudi consulate in Turkey where the murder occurred.

In a surprising turn of events, the GOP is actually turning on Trump over his (lack of a) position on Jamal Khashoggi's killing.

The Turkish semi-public agency Anadolu reported that the prosecutor's office had requested for the arrest warrant for Qahtani and Asiri and a court in Istanbul confirmed it.

Pompeo and Mattis tried to dissuade senators from punishing Saudi Arabia with the resolution, saying US involvement in the Yemen conflict is central to the Trump administration's broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Corker is confident that the crown prince is culpable in the murder.

"There is no way, and I mean no way, that 17 people that close to the crown prince fly into a third country, murder someone in a diplomatic facility, and fly back to Saudi Arabia and he not at least know about it, much less perhaps be involved in it". Following the briefing, a handful of senators said they believe that MBS ordered the hit on Khashoggi.

Sen. Bob Corker's comments were an equally scathing rebuke of Trump.

After the meeting, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters that MBS is "complicit" in the murder.

The Saudi embassy in Washington confirmed that Khalid had returned to the US, NBC said, while a Saudi official said he was unable to attend the funeral because of a plane delay.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pushed to keep worldwide attention on the murder - the order for which he says came from the highest levels of the Saudi Arabian government - even as US President Donald Trump has said that Washington should not take action that would undermine its relationship with the kingdom. Saudi Arabia has detained 21 people and says it is seeking the death penalty for five. Graham said that may be true, but there is certainly a "smoking bonesaw", alluding to the murder weapon suspected to have killed Khashoggi.

Haspel appeared on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to brief a dozen or so senators on intelligence the CIA had about Khashoggi's death at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey two months ago.

Last week, 14 Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the Senate and rarely break from the president, defied Trump's wishes and voted with Democrats in favour of moving ahead with the war powers resolution.

  • Rogelio Becker