Sen. Corker calls for White House to make determination in Saudi prince’s role in Khashoggi death

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With less than two weeks in the U.S. Senate, Tennessee Senator Bob Corker (R) is criticizing the Trump Administration’s decision to not act against Saudi Arabia.  

President Donald Trump said Today is standing with the country, despite the Crown Prince being the CIA’s prime suspect in the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi – a U.S. resident.  

In a statement, President Trump wrote it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of the tragic event but that the “United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia.”  

“If we broke with them, I think your oil prices would go through the roof. I’ve kept them down. They’ve helped me keep them down,” Trump said.  

CBS News confirmed the CIA has intelligence indicating that not only did the Crown Prince have knowledge of the killing, but he ordered it.  

The Crown Prince has denied involvement.  

Sen. Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted this evening, saying “I never thought I’d see the day a White House would moonlight as a public relations firm for the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.”

In a letter addressed to President Trump, Corker and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) say, 

The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act requires the President, upon receipt of a request from the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, to determine whether a foreign person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violation of internationally recognized human rights against an individual exercising freedom of expression, and report to the Committee within 120 days with a determination and a decision on the imposition of sanctions on that foreign person or persons. 

On October 10, we sent a letter requesting that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act with “respect to any foreign person responsible” for Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. In light of recent developments, including the Saudi government’s acknowledgement that Saudi officials killed Mr. Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate, we request that your determination specifically address whether Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman is responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s murder. We expect to receive your determination within 120 days of our original request.

Corker has hinted at a possible presidential run in 2020 against President – whom he’s butted heads with during his time in office.  

Corker did not seek re-election. Republican Marsha Blackburn was elected to Corker’s seat. 

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