Graham Breaks With Trump: 'Zero Chance' MBS Wasn't Involved In Khashoggi Murder

Hollywood star calls for action on Khashoggi's murder

Hollywood star calls for action on Khashoggi's murder

A bipartisan group of senators, led by close Trump ally Republican Lindsey Graham, introduced a measure that would blame Saudi Arabia for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Saudi contributor to the Washington Post, was killed shortly after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage.

Hollywood star Robert De Niro has called for doing "something" regarding the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The US administration imposed sanctions on Qahtani in November, accusing him of being part of the planning and execution of the operation that led to the killing of Khashoggi.

But the debate could become a virtual trial over Prince Mohammed's responsibility for Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and Trump's effort to downplay it. Senators could add amendments to further punish the kingdom.

Earlier, a Turkish court issued arrest warrants for former Saudi Deputy Foreign Intelligence Chief Gen. Ahmed Asiri and Royal Court Adviser Saud Al-Qahtani over their roles in the murder of Khashoggi.

The first vote would be on a motion to proceed to the joint resolution that seeks to stop US support for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

In addition, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said senators will meet Thursday morning to see if they can agree on a proposal for sanctions against Saudi Arabia. The senators who attended the briefing did not disclose what Haspel presented to them.

However, several reports have suggested that the Saudi prince was involved in the murder.

Riyadh has since detained 21 people over the murder.

"There is zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept apprised of the situation all the way through", Corker said Tuesday after the closed-door briefing with CIA Director Gina Haspel and a handful of senators.

"If our government knows that Saudi leaders were involved in the murder of a United States resident, why shouldn't the public know this?" he said.

The senators--Republicans Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, and Todd Young, along with Democrats Dianne Feinstein, Ed Markey, and Chris Coons--make clear this is a message about the USA standing up for "who we are and what we believe". Marco Rubio said Wednesday, citing what he knows from being on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Graham said that may be true, but there is certainly a "smoking bonesaw", alluding to the murder weapon suspected to have killed Khashoggi.

The Senate is expected to vote on the war powers resolution next week, but lawmakers have not yet agreed on how, or whether, it should be amended.

The CIA had already concluded with high confidence that the prince was behind the murder, but senators said Haspel provided a much more fulsome briefing than the one they had gotten from Cabinet officials, including new evidence.

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