Reed, Senators Seek Declassified U.S. Intelligence Report on Slaying of Jamal Khashoggi

Democratic Senators reintroduce bill requiring public, unclassified report on Khashoggi murder by Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON, DC – While the Trump Administration refuses to make public information about the slaying of U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in October of 2018, a group of U.S. Senators is seeking to shed light on the heinous killing.

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Kamala Harris (D-CA), introduced legislation today requiring a public report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The bill comes in response to the Trump Administration’s repeated refusal to release a public assessment about Khashoggi’s murder at the hands of Saudi officials.

In calling for justice for the Khashoggi family and truth for the American people, Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee and an ex officio member of the Intelligence Committee, stated: “The brutal murder of U.S. resident andWashington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and the brazen cover up by the Saudi government cannot be tolerated. The American people deserve to know the truth about what happened. We are once again calling for an unclassified and public assessment of who ordered his killing and why.  I urge the Trump administration to share what it knows about this heinous crime and hold all perpetrators accountable.”

Under the bill, the Director of National Intelligence would be granted 30 days after enactment to submit to Congress a report on the death Mr. Khashoggi.  The report must include «identification of those who carried out, participated in, ordered, or were otherwise complicit in or responsible for the death of Jamal Khashoggi.”

“The Saudi government brazenly murdered a Washington Post journalist, and this administration refuses to even tell the American people who is responsible for giving the order,” said Senator Wyden. “This bill says the Trump administration can’t get away with burying the facts about Jamal Khashoggi.”

“The Trump administration has been unwilling to acknowledge the abduction, torture, and killing of Jamal Khashoggi for what it was: a state-sponsored, cold blooded murder within a diplomatic consulate,” said Senator Heinrich. “The American people deserve nothing less than the truth and transparency about the Saudi government’s involvement in this shameful act. That starts with ensuring the public hears directly from the intelligence community identifying who carried out or ordered Mr. Khashoggi’s death.”

“As a nation founded on freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the United States cannot turn a blind eye to egregious violations of those principles around the world,” said Senator Coons. “The American people deserve to know the facts about the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi, and Congress should act to hold those responsible accountable.”

“The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a tragedy and represented an attack on journalists everywhere,” said Senator Harris. “Unfortunately, the White House has not provided clear answers about what happened or who in the Saudi government might bear responsibility for the attack. We must always defend the rights of a free and independent press both at home and abroad, which is why I’m standing with my colleagues to demand a public report on this incident.”

Senators Wyden, Heinrich, and Reed introduced identical legislation last November, but it was not acted upon before Congress adjourned the 115th Congress in 2018.

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