'Zero' doubt Saudi crown prince directed Khashoggi murder: GOP senators

CIA Director to Brief Lawmakers on Saudi Journalist's Murder

"Let me just put it this way". If he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes.

CIA Director Gina Haspel has briefed Senate leaders on the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as senators weigh punishing the longtime Middle East ally over the killing. Graham added that his opinion on Saudi Arabia had changed and that he would no longer support the war in Yemen or arms sales between the US and the kingdom until the issue was addressed.

The Virginia resident disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. After denying any knowledge of his whereabouts (and insisting Khashoggi left the consulate on his own accord), the Saudi government eventually admitted that he was murdered by a team of Saudi officials with close connections to the government.

"When it is done, when you complete that analysis, there's no direct evidence linking [the Saudi prince] to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi", he said. Sources familiar with the circumstances surrounding Khashoggi's death told the press that the murder "was organized by a high-ranking officer with the General Intelligence Presidency, Saudi Arabia's main intelligence service". Trump said in a statement on November 20. "I would much rather ... the administration speak to this".

"All evidence points to that all this leads back to the crown prince", said, Alaska Republican Senator Richard Shelby, calling the murder a "reprehensible conduct". The bill is pending further action on the Senate floor.

US Senator Lindsey Graham said on Tuesday that bin Salman, known as MBS, is "complicit" in the killing of Khashoggi.

Last week, Haspel did not attend a briefing about Khashoggi's killing that was given to all senators by Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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

He also said that Haspel "should brief the full Senate without delay". "I think temperatures are up by all involved ... so figuring out something that can pass overwhelmingly still is going to be hard because some people want to tie the Yemen piece into the Khashoggi piece".

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Haspel would conduct a briefing. He said he would "question somebody's judgment if they couldn't figure this out".

"Now, the question is, how do you separate the Saudi crown prince and his group from the nation itself", he said.

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.

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