Turkey seeks arrest of Saudi crown prince allies over Khashoggi

CIA Director to Brief Lawmakers on Saudi Journalist's Murder

Sens. Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul, two of President Donald Trump's closest allies on foreign policy, said in pointed, angry terms Tuesday that Saudi Arabia's crown prince was behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi - a sharp break with the Trump administration's view. Graham said there is "zero chance" the crown prince wasn't involved in Khashoggi's death.

Haspel had faced mounting pressure to speak to lawmakers and more fully explain the CIA's findings, which President Trump has said don't conclusively show that Mohammed was involved in the assassination.

"If they were in a Democratic administration", Graham said of Pompeo and Mattis, "I would be all over them for being in the pocket of Saudi Arabia".

The briefing will take place after the Central Intelligence Agency was excluded last week when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke with senators about the journalist's killing. The kingdom implicated some of the crown prince's associates in the murder and Saudi authorities later detained several high-ranking officials. "You have to balance all of those considerations as we move forward on this".

These senators are serving notice that they won't back down without a fight - a fight that could tar both Pompeo's and Mattis' legacies.

'By extraditing all suspects to Turkey, where Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered, the Saudi authorities could address those concerns'.

Pompeo and Mattis tried to dissuade senators from punishing Saudi Arabia with the resolution, saying USA involvement in the Yemen conflict is central to the Trump administration's broader goal of containing Iranian influence in the Middle East.

Graham, a confidant of Trump, had said he would refuse to support "any key vote" until Haspel spoke to lawmakers.

Haspel gave a classified briefing to a small, bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday. He made a statement that MBS would be "convicted in 30 minutes", if he went in front of jury and, again, pointed out that the difference between the Central Intelligence Agency briefing and the Pompeo/Mattis briefing was like the "difference between darkness and sunshine", per WaPo.

But the debate could become a virtual trial over Prince Mohammed's responsibility for Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and Trump's effort to downplay it. Senators could add amendments to further punish the kingdom. "I have not seen that intelligence nor have I even seen the conclusions. I can not support arm sales to Saudi Arabia as long as he's in charge".

US intelligence assessments and experts say it is unlikely the killing could have happened without the crown prince's knowledge.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) fears that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will force the United States to take drastic action against Saudi Arabia someday if he doesn't quit his authoritarian practices like orchestrating the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Haspel briefing included leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Armed Services Committee and Appropriations Committee. The Senate overwhelmingly voted last week to move forward on a resolution curtailing USA backing for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. He said he would "question somebody's judgment if they couldn't figure this out". Corker said it's going to be hard to determine what measure the Senate can pass with overwhelming support.

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