Corker, a Tennessee republic who retires at the end of his term in January, suggested that the planned Wednesday talks…
Corker, a Tennessee republic who retires at the end of his term in January, suggested that the planned Wednesday talks by Defense Secretary James Mattis and State Secretary Mike Pompeo alone would not suffice to answer the growing number of questions about Khashoggi’s death. Questions still remain about how strong Congress should react in trying to punish Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman over the murder.
At the same time, Corker said that he expected the Senate to vote this week for a privileged resolution – – written by Sens. Bernie Sanders, and Vermont Independent; Mike Lee, a Utah Republican; and Chris Murphy, the Connecticut Democrat ̵
1; to end the United States involvement in the Saudi Arabian war in Yemen. This action was given 55-44, earlier this year, but its chances of progress are stronger now in the light of the Khashoggi assassination.
Corker also said that there could be action in his committee as soon as Wednesday in Saudi Arabia, but senators still discuss the legislative proposals that may arise during that meeting. In addition, Corker said that they could look at “additional legislation” aimed at the crown prince, possibly even by attaching spending legislation the congress has to pass on 7 December.
And Corker said that he was looking at making “some improvements” to a request for the Trump Administration to investigate whether bin Salman committed human rights violations and should comply with the federal Magnitsky Act sanctions.
“Just now comes Mattis and Pompeo,” said Corker. “I only recommend them strongly as I did (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell) this weekend it would be very good for the CIA director to be there too. I think people will care very much about what happens in Yemen without a doubt, but they will also care a lot about CIA views on the Crown Prince and it will affect people like what happens if the Lee-Sanders vote, which will happen sometime Wednesday or Thursday, seems this week. “
He added: “There will be a lot of happiness” in Saudi Arabia.
Despite concern with Saudi Arabia, Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn threw cold water on progress with the Sanders-Lee-Murphy proposal: “I hope we will not give Iran a passport in Yemen.”
An American official told CNN Friday that there is still no smoking service that directly implies the crown prince and the intelligence service is ongoing. As part of that process, the CIA analyzes the relevant intelligence within the framework of what is already known about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said the official.
Intelligence officials have said that the CIA presented the president with a trust-based assessment Facts about the situation.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.