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

U.S. senators more certain than ever Saudi crown prince was behind Khashoggi killing

A USA senator has attacked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - describing him as insane, dangerous, a wrecking ball, and "complicit in the murder" of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Senator John Kennedy has likened Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to infamous suspected Mexican crime lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán ahead of a small briefing allegedly linking the royal to the murder of a prominent journalist.

Republican Senator Bob Corker said he has zero doubt in his mind that Prince Mohammed ordered and monitored the killing of Khashoggi.

Corker said he believes if the crown prince were put on trial, a jury would find him guilty in "about 30 minutes".

"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", Sen.

Khashoggi was killed October 2 in what US officials have described as an elaborate plot at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, which he had visited for marriage paperwork.

The Trump administration has argued there is no "smoking gun" tying the prince to the murder, but Corker said Haspel presented the senators with information they hadn't heard before. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

"You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi", Graham added.

Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'
Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'

Many Democrats want a "straight up or down vote" on the resolution to end all U.S. support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen, without amendments.

Trump has called the murder "terrible" but noted that the crown prince had denied any knowledge of the killing ahead of time.

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 senator had previously said he would refuse to take a position on the question before hearing Haspel's testimony on the spy agency's findings, which differ from the positions voiced by the Trump administration.

Paul said if he was allowed into the secure room for the briefing, he'd ask Haspel - a Kentucky native - several other questions, including whether there were text messages sent from the killers to the crown prince's office.

Last week, the Senate rebuked Trump by voting 63 to 37 in favor of a resolution that would end US involvement in Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen. Graham has also pushed for the Magnitsky Act sanctions issued against the 15 assassins to be extended to the crown prince as well.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, said the briefing "reinforced the need for a strong response to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi". Kennedy, who also was not invited to the briefing, said was Paul was "right".

But, Stewart said, the United States has to continue relationships with those countries.



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