US Lawmakers Seek Release of Intelligence Report on Khashoggi Murder
United States lawmakers are pressing to force the release of an intelligence report on the October 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The incident sparked an international backlash as it became clear that a Saudi hit team had been dispatched from the kingdom to murder the writer, with the knowledge and possibly at the direction of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Khashoggi, then a US resident, had written critical articles in The Washington Post about the House of Saud. Last year, Congress urged the director of national intelligence to publicize the identities of those who ordered the assassination, though the overture was refused on grounds that doing so would damage US security. While Democrats spearheaded the effort while accusing President Donald Trump of trying to protect Riyadh, a main US ally, high-ranking Republicans were also critical of the White House. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has vowed to invoke a section of a 1976 law that allows the House Intelligence Committee, on which he serves, to declassify a report. If the committee chooses this path, President Trump would have five days to present objections in writing, after which the full Republican-controlled Senate could conceivably vote to defy him.