Bob Menéndez Probes White House Over Journalist’s Murder
Despite Donald Trump’s ambiguous free pass to Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman for ordering the murder and dismemberment of one of his own citizens, Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi, lawmakers are demanding a definitive statement. Hours after the president declared, in a statement filled with exclamation points, that the U.S. would stand with Saudi Arabia as a crucial economic and national security ally, Senate Foreign Relations Committee leaders Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) and Bob Corker (R-TN) penned a letter to 45. "In light of recent developments," Menéndez and Corker wrote in the November 20th letter, "we request that your determination specifically address whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for Mr. Khashoggi's murder." Multiple outlets have reported that the CIA concluded with high confidence that the Crown Prince was directly involved in the decision to kill Khashoggi. The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act requires the president, upon receipt of a request from the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, to determine whether a foreign person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violation of internationally recognized human rights against an individual exercising freedom of expression, and report to the Committee within 120 days with a determination and a decision on the imposition of sanctions on that foreign person or persons -- a point they highlight in the letter. So far, no response from the White House. Read the full letter here.