Turkey seeks arrest of Saudi officials over Khashoggi

Blanche Robertson
December 6, 2018

Time will tell whether the rare shot at Mattis' integrity from Capitol Hill will have repercussions when he testifies to defend the president's budget request a few months from now. The Saudi coalition faced criticism for indiscriminately bombing civilian targets and infrastructure, though the Trump administration argues the situation would be much worse without US assistance.

Their move came a day after some senators said there is "zero chance" MBS was not involved in Khashoggi's murder following a closed-door briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel. The CIA believes a Saudi hit squad killed him there on the crown prince's instructions - one of them reportedly using a bone saw.

"The very definition of a "deep state" is when the intelligence communities withhold information from Congress", he said.

As Rubio spoke to CNN's John Berman, he was asked about why the White House denies the existence of any smoking gun against Salman despite the CIA's "high confidence" assessment to the contrary. "There's no way in the world those individuals came out and lied because they didn't". He's also argued its unknowable whether Khashoggi was involved.

"If we don't stop it now, it gets worse later", Graham said, adding that MBS has been a "wrecking ball" the Middle East.

The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) reported that the two officials were Saud al-Qahtani and General Ahmed al-Asiri who are said to be close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Whatever was revealed in that Central Intelligence Agency briefing had to be irrefutable for so much of Trump's senate supporters to lash out like this.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told reporters the crown prince "ordered, monitored, the killing" of Khashoggi.

"Let me just put it this way: I think if he was in front of a jury, he would have a unanimous verdict in about 30 minutes".

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At last week's hearing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis told senators there was no direct evidence of the crown prince's involvement in Khashoggi's death.

"I'm neither excusing it, I'm making an observation".

According to Turkey, a 15-member Saudi team was sent to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi.

Introduced by a top ally of President Donald Trump, Republican Sen.

Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said in a statement that "every Senator should hear what I heard this afternoon".

"I think they are tired of him being the only person - they can not play anybody else against him - and that is, I think, one of the reasons that made the United States reaction to the murder greater, because now there is only one person to go to, there is only one address in Riyadh, and that is MBS". Obviously that's a huge sign of progress, but an even more important takeaway is the fact that these senators say they feel purposefully mislead by a Republican administration, and have made a vote against its interests. "Because then you're going to have open season on Americans everywhere".

But Graham said he would not support the joint resolution that would cut off military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

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