House Democrats will investigate Trump's response to Khashoggi murder

  24 November 2018    Read: 843
House Democrats will investigate Trump

Democrats on the US House intelligence committee will investigate Donald Trump’s response to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as part of a “deep dive” into US-Saudi Arabia ties, the committee’s incoming head said in a report published on Friday.

The committee will investigate the US intelligence assessment of Khashoggi’s death as well as the war in Yemen, the stability of the Saudi royal family and the kingdom’s treatment of critics and the press, the California representative Adam Schiff told the Washington Post.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Schiff, the committee’s top Democrat, is in line to become committee chairman in January when his party takes control of the House of Representatives following gains in this month’s congressional elections.

That will allow Democrats to exercise oversight of Trump and his administration, including the ability to issue subpoenas and hold hearings.

“Certainly we will be delving further into the murder of Khashoggi,” Schiff told the Post. “We will certainly want to examine what the intelligence community knows about the murder.“

Trump has dismissed the CIA’s assessment that Khashoggi’s death was ordered directly by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler. Khashoggi, a Saudi-born, US-based journalist for the Post who had been critical of Saudi leaders, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

On Thursday, Trump repeated his doubts, telling reporters the CIA “did not come to a conclusion. They have feelings certain ways.”

The crown prince “denies it vehemently”, he said.

Schiff said his panel would examine the CIA’s findings as well as whether Trump’s private financial relationship with the Saudis influenced his response as president.

“There are a whole set of potential financial conflicts of interest and emoluments problems that Congress will need to get to the bottom of,” Schiff said. “If foreign investment in the Trump businesses is guiding US policy in a way that’s antithetical to the country’s interests, we need to find out.“

Trump, who still owns his business but has said he relinquished day-to-day control, told a rally in 2015 he earned “hundreds of millions” of dollars from Saudi purchases.

Trump has defended his stance toward Saudi Arabia, a key ally in the Middle East, citing arms deals with Riyadh and the larger strategy regarding Iran.

Trump has regularly attacked Schiff, who has been a leading critic. In a tweetthis month, the president rendered the congressman’s name as “little Adam Schitt”. Schiff responded: “Wow, Mr President, that’s a good one.”

 


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