WASHINGTON: The Saudi ambassador to the United States Khalid bin Salman, brother of the powerful crown prince, has returned to Washington after leaving the U.S. capital in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an official said Wednesday.
He and other top senators from both parties met Thursday to try to hammer out a deal to rebuke Saudi Arabia for the killing of the journalist - a slap at Team Trump's insistence that there was insufficient evidence to link the prince to the October murder.
You can read the full resolution here.
Khashoggi, 59, was killed shortly after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage. If he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes. "That might be the real policy question".
The Tennessee Republican said that with the schedule changes necessitated by the funeral of President George H.W. Bush, floor debate would most likely come up on Monday, Dec. 10.
Senators who weren't invited to Tuesday's briefing, including Rand Paul of Kentucky, Chris Murphy of CT and Tim Kaine of Virginia, where Khashoggi lived, said more senators should also get the same briefing.
The resolution says the Senate believes Mohammed bin Salman "was in control of security forces" during the killing and has "a high level of confidence" that the crown prince was "complicit" in the murder, based on "evidence and analysis made available".
US lawmakers' unease over Saudi actions had been simmering for years as the civilian death toll in Yemen rose ever higher, but the Khashoggi killing appears to have intensified revulsion and anger toward the kingdom.
"While I will not discuss the content of the Haspel briefing, it reinforced the need for a strong response to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi", the New York Democrat said.
"I would imagine in a Democratic administration, I would be all over them for being in the pocket of Saudi Arabia", Graham said of Mattis and Pompeo. "CIA Director Haspel should brief the full Senate without delay".
The decision to limit Haspel's briefing to fewer than a dozen senators has angered others, like Sen.
Representatives for Penn did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment. Mike Lee, who championed of the resolution, were not included in the Haspel briefing on Tuesday.
The CIA has concluded Mohammed bin Salman "probably ordered" the killing of Khashoggi.
"Oh, there was much more information", Durbin said.
Asked if the prince is responsible for Khashoggi's death, Durbin answered with one word: "Yes".
He was one of 37 Republicans who voted against advancing a nonbinding resolution last week to end USA support for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
Pompeo and Mattis are now expected to give a briefing to the House on Yemen and Saudi Arabia on December 13, ahead of a Democratic takeover of the House in January following the party's gains in the midterm elections.