Kennedy: Saudi Crown Prince Was 'Original El Chapo'

Erika Holt
December 5, 2018

"If he was in front of a jury, he would be convicted in 30 minutes, guilty", Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker told reporters after the briefing.

Other senators emerging from a briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel also blame the Saudi de facto ruler for the murder despite Trump's unwavering support for the prince in the wake of his arms deal with Riyadh.

"I think the behaviour before the Khashoggi murder was beyond disturbing and I can not see him being a reliable partner to the United States". "There's a smoking saw", Graham said.

Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly tortured, murdered and then dismembered via a bone saw by Saudi operatives at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Following Tuesday's bipartisan briefing-which was limited to eight senators-a number of legislators expressed their belief that the Central Intelligence Agency had only further incriminated Prince Mohammed.

Graham spoke after a Senate briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel and said one would have to "be willfully blind" not to come to the conclusion that Khashoggi's death was orchestrated and organized by people under the crown prince.

Saudi Arabia maintains the crown prince did not know anything about the murder, which it claims was an accident. In an interview with CNN last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said they had no direct evidence to prove Prince Mohammed was behind the murder.

"To let it stand, in essence allows somebody like MBS to continue with immunity which is inappropriate", Corker said, adding that the Trump administration "puts Congress in a place where now we feel like we need to speak out, that this can not stand".

The Tennessee Republican said that with the schedule changes necessitated by the funeral of President George H.W. Bush, floor debate would most likely come up on Monday, Dec. 10.

CIA Director to Brief Lawmakers on Saudi Journalist's Murder
CIA Director Gina Haspel To Brief Senators On Jamal Khashoggi Killing

Senators including Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., still want Haspel to brief the entire Senate on the matter.

USA intelligence officials reportedly have concluded that the crown prince, known informally as "MBS", must have at least known of the plot.

The senator also says he can not support arms sales to Saudi Arabia so long as the crown prince is in charge.

"No response is certainly not appropriate", McConnell said at a Wall Street Journal event.

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Texas criticized the exclusivity of the Central Intelligence Agency briefing, arguing that all senators should have been invited.

While Senate passage of a resolution would send a strong message to Saudi Arabia, it's unlikely it would become law before the end of the year.

Senate responds to Trump's support of Saudi Arabia with a bill that would pull US support from Saudi-led forces fighting in Yemen; Lt. Col.

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