Several Democratic members of Congress over the weekend called for Saudi Arabia to face consequences for the death, and suspected murder, of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consultate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) joined many who’ve found the new Saudi explanation of Khashoggi’s death — after 17 days of denials, the Saudis claimed Friday that Khashoggi inadvertently died during a fight in the consulate — not credible “at all.”
“I think this ought to be a relationship-altering event for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia,” Schiff added. “We ought to suspend military sales. We ought to suspend certain security assistance. And we ought to impose sanctions on any of those that were directly involved in this murder.”
“This really ought to be something that causes us to do a reexamination of our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “the only person on earth outside of the Saudi kingdom” who appeared to accept the Saudis’ new story was Trump.
“We ought to formally expel the Saudi ambassador from the United States until there is a completion of a third-party investigation into this kidnap, murder, and God knows what followed, that occurred in Istanbul,” Durbin said.
And Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) (pictured above) released a statement Saturday calling for “a ban on oil imports from Saudi Arabia until the highest levels of Saudi government are held accountable for their actions.”
Several Democrats have signed onto a letter calling for the full disclosure of President Donald Trump’s financial entanglements with Saudi Arabia; others joined with Republicans to call on the White House to initiate a Magninsky Act investigation into Khashoggi’s death.
Trump himself, on the other hand, stood somewhat alone in saying Friday that he found the most recent Saudi explanation credible. He told the Washington Post Saturday night: “I would love if [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman] wasn’t responsible” for Khashoggi’s death.