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White House Declines to Meet Congress’ Deadline on Khashoggi Killing - Should Congress Force Action?

Should Congress punish Saudi Arabia?

by Countable | Updated on 2.12.19

Update - February 13, 2019:

  • Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are criticizing the Trump administration for its failure to identify and punish those behind the death and disappearance of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • The White House missed a Friday deadline to submit a report to Congress determining who was responsible for the brutal killing of Khashoggi.
“The President maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when appropriate,” a senior administration official said in a statement. “The U.S. Government will continue to consult with Congress and work to hold accountable those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s killing.”
  • Lawmakers said that's not good enough.
  • “It’s not a good way to start the new Congress in its relationship with the Foreign Relations Committee,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the committee. “It violates the law. And the law is clear about those timelines. I’m urging them and I expect them to comply with the law.”
  • "This amounts to the Trump Administration aiding in the cover up of a murder," Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said in a statement on Sunday. "America should never descend to this level of moral bankruptcy."
  • On Friday, the day of the Magnitsky deadline, the Saudi Foreign Ministry tweeted what some read as a threat: “Our leadership is a red line. We warn against any attempt to link Khashoggi’s crime to our leadership.”

Countable's original story appears below.


What’s the story?

  • Friday marks the deadline for President Donald Trump to identify and punish those behind the death and disappearance of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
  • In October, a bipartisan group of senators imposed a 120-day deadline for Trump to submit a report to Congress determining who was responsible for the brutal killing of Khashoggi.
  • United Nations report on Thursday described Khashoggi as "the victim of a brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated by officials of the State of Saudi Arabia."
  • Mounting evidence suggests that the Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is behind the murder, with the New York Times reporting Thursday that MBS told a top aide in 2017 that he would use “a bullet” on the journalist. MBS continues to have the support of Trump, who has said he’s reluctant to disturb the weapons sales agreement with the kingdom.
  • Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist, was killed in October while visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act

  • Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle introduced legislation Thursday that would block U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia and impose mandatory sanctions on those found responsible for Khashoggi’s death.
  • Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said when announcing the bill Thursday:
“Seeing as the Trump administration has no intention of insisting on full accountability for Mr. Khashoggi’s murderers, it is time for Congress to step in and impose real consequences to fundamentally reexamine our relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and with the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.”
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a close-ally of Trump, has none-the-less been critical of the administration’s response to the killing.
  • “It is not in our national security interests to look the other way when it comes to the brutal murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi," said Graham, one of the GOP senators who authored the bill.
  • “While Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally, the behavior of the crown prince – in multiple ways – has shown disrespect for the relationship and made him, in my view, beyond toxic,” Graham said in a statement.
“I fully realize we have to deal with bad actors and imperfect situations on the international stage. However, when we lose our moral voice, we lose our strongest asset.”

What do you think?

Do you support the Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act? Or are you concerned about destabilizing the status-quo with the Saudis? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: Time Magazine)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(387)
  • Chickie
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    #45 will not make anyone accountable for the brutal death of Kashoogi as he never holds himself accountable for any of his deceitful practices, conspiracy and defiance of our Constitution. Our legislators must then let Saudi Arabia know that we, the people do!

    Like (58)
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  • Lesia
    02/08/2019
    ···

    I don’t care how rich they are or how much oil they have. They brutally murdered an American journalist and there needs to be repercussions.

    Like (30)
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  • I.Got.an.Idea...
    Voted Maybe
    02/08/2019
    ···

    I believe that Republicans and the Trump administration may have also been connected to this murder.

    Like (22)
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  • Mark
    Voted No
    02/09/2019
    ···

    Nope. He was a terrorist. Wishing the Saudis had simply imprisoned him for life.

    Like (16)
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  • J. scott
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Yes absolutely I support sanctions against the Saudis and any allies who engage in such horrific atrocities especially when it involves the open butchery of an American citizen. Never mind the shabby and clear pretext that the Crown Prince didn’t know. Whether he knew or not is irrelevant and his government, his people, and his country must pay the price for their actions in this case. The fact that he didn’t know is a problem requiring the same sanctions.

    Like (39)
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  • Ken
    02/08/2019
    ···

    I don't whether we have the right to penalize Saudi Arabia. Having said that we should not be selling arms to a country that thinks it's just fine to cut people they dislike into pieces and discarding them. That's quite hypocritical wouldn't you think.

    Like (18)
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  • Richard
    Voted No
    02/08/2019
    ···

    WHO CARES! This is how they want to run their country. Who are we to tell them what to do.

    Like (14)
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  • ConflyktedPolitics
    Voted Maybe
    last Wednesday
    ···

    We need a way to punish Saudi Arabia as a government, but not the citizens who had no say in the matter. Unfortunately, all we have come up with really only effects the common people... not the top 1% in their government.

    Like (2)
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  • TrulyTexan
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Murder is not legal anywhere. Just because a country ignores their own laws does not make it right. Treat Putin the same way.

    Like (21)
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  • Ruth
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    The Saudi Prince, Kim Jong-Un, Vlad Putin, the president of the Philippines are all the dictators that trump wants to align with and he thinks the rule of laws are not meant for him. NOT TO MENTION THAT TRUMP OPENLY COMMITTED TREASON IN HELSINKI

    Like (19)
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  • ChangeIT
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Saudi Arabia has done a lot to the US. Remember 9/11?? Most of the men that flew those planes where from there.

    Like (15)
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  • Rebecca
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    The president’s handling of Kashoggi’s murder has been deplorable. And why isn’t congress speaking up?

    Like (14)
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  • Ronald
    Voted No
    02/08/2019
    ···

    The Saudi's have their system of Justice. We don't like it, but we must respect other Nation's right to practice their own Justice.

    Like (11)
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  • JTJ
    Voted No
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Democrats don’t give a crap about this man’s death. This is simply an issue they are using to bash Trump.

    Like (9)
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  • Mark
    Voted No
    02/09/2019
    ···

    He was a terrorist supporter

    Like (8)
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  • Dave
    02/09/2019
    ···

    Investigate the Death and disappearance of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi and/or the disappearance of Saudi that committed crimes in the United States, disappear and end up back in Saudi Arabia, like what happen in OR and other places. They had gotten away with murder. So far 94 journalists and media workers died in targeted killings, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents in 2018. These people put their life's on the line to give you news and information, that will effect you and your family. Most are killed my dictators.

    Like (7)
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  • PatE
    Voted Yes
    last Monday
    ···

    From all accounts, including the CIA, this man was clearly behind the Assassination.

    Like (7)
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  • Tracy
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Saudi Arabia should be punished not only for Khashoggi’s death but also for arming the rebels with the weapons they bought from us.

    Like (7)
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  • Ray
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    Absolutely yes. We need to stop this murderous and out of control government of Saudi. And should not be a partner to their killings of their own citizens or people from elsewhere ie Yemen.

    Like (7)
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  • SneakyPete
    Voted Yes
    02/08/2019
    ···

    HEAVEN HELP THE FAILING DEMOCRATIC PARTY & FOLLOWERS Where in the hell do the,”DumbA$$’$” Come Off with their Democratic Brainwashed B$ and having their $TUPID IDIOTIC $hitty A$inine Ideas that WE, by virtue of President Trump, that we were behind the assassination. Again it’s just a figment of their sick 🤒 imagination and dream, which sends a “Trickle” down their legs in anticipation of damaging anything President Trumps, Republican, Or Conservatives. Little do they realize, that their futile efforts are going to be for naught. They’ll suffer being the defeated and the consequences up and down the political spectrum from local to the “White House” and “Hallowed Congressional Halls” of Washington. FINALLY 👍🏻THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA “WILL NOT” TURN SOCIALIST 👍🏻 SneakyPete.......... 👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻🇺🇸👍🏻. 2*8*19...........

    Like (7)
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  • Katherine
    Voted Yes
    02/09/2019
    ···

    There needs to be a penalty for killing an American news reporter. He was here legally and deserves our loyalty. We need to show there is recourse for killing Americans and those we have taken in and accepted as our own.

    Like (7)
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