Saudi officials confirmed the death of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi this evening, announced in the dead of night, Saudi time.
According to the Saudi prosecutor general, a violent altercation broke out while Khashoggi was being interrogated in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 4.
Yeah, because they were trying to kill him, shot back California Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, who on Friday night stated the obvious, that Saudi Arabia’s claim that he was “killed while brawling with a team of more than a dozen dispatched from Saudi Arabia is not credible.”
If Khashoggi was fighting inside the consulate, he was “fighting for his life with people sent to capture or kill him,” Schiff said, adding that if the Trump administration won’t hold Saudi Arabia accountable for Khashoggi’s death, Congress will.
The Trump administration, via White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, responded thusly to the news:
“The United States acknowledges the announcement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that its investigation into the fate of Jamal Khashoggi is progressing and that it has taken action against the suspects it has identified thus far. We will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process. We are saddened to hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, and we offer our deepest condolences to his family, fiancée, and friends.”
This as some Trump supporters in Congress, on Fox News, and in his family (Don Jr.) advanced the idea Khashoggi had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, was an apologist for Islamic terrorism, a jihadist, etc.
In its official acknowledgement of Khashoggi’s murder on October 4, the Saudi government said the WaPo columnist was put into a choke hold that led to his death. Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to get papers he needed to be married.
Turkish authorities said days ago that they had an audio recording of the incident in which they say Khashoggi was interrogated, which led to a struggle, which led to Jamal Khashoggi’s death.
Meanwhile, a senior adviser to Prince MBS has been dismissed and 18 Saudi nationals suspected of being involved in Khashoggi’s death have been detained. The Saudi government says it will spend a month investigating Khashoggi’s death and release results of its investigation. That would put the release of results after the midterm elections in the U.S.
It’s unclear when Turkey will release results of its own investigation in light of Saudi Arabia’s announcement.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said they were going to give the Saudis a few more days to release results of their investigation into Khashoggi’s death.
President Donald Trump says he could consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia over missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In Arizona this evening, before Saudi Arabia acknowledged the WaPo columnist had been murdered in its consulate, Trump said he would consider sanctions against that kingdom, would involve Congress in any decision, while making his own “certain recommendations.”
At the time, he said he expected to know more about what happened by Monday.
“We’re going to find out who knew what, when and where, and we’ll figure it out.”
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