Following Conflicting Statements by Trump and Silence from IC Leaders, Bill Requires Public Assessment of Killing of Washington Post Columnist
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Kamala Harris, (D-Calif.), introduced legislation today requiring a public report on the killing of Washington Post journalist 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.
“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.”
“The brutal murder of U.S. resident and Washington 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,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee and an ex officio member of the Intelligence Committee. “I urge the Trump administration to share what it knows about this heinous crime and hold all perpetrators accountable.”
“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.”