The Senate must push for accountability after U.S. President Donald Trump defied Congress and did not report whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s death, according to The Washington Post.
The newspaper’s editorial board said the Trump administration’s failure caused an outrage amongst senators, who have been calling for further action to hold the crown prince responsible.
Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and contributor for The Post, was brutally murdered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last October shortly after he entered the diplomatic facility. Riyadh initially denied any role in the killing but has since sought to blame his death on a botched rendition operation carried out by rogue agents.
In November, the CIA concluded with high confidence that bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s killing, according to The Post.
Trump and his administration, however, have shied away from placing any blame on bin Salman.
“The Senate’s view is already clear: It unanimously approved a resolution in December holding the crown prince responsible,” the editorial board wrote.
On Monday, the administration held a hearing on Khashoggi before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. However, the information provided was not new and did not say whether the White House was going to place the murder on bin Salman.
Senator Lindsey Graham called is a “worthless” hearing.
“Not only the question of justice for Khashoggi is at issue: The crime is part of a pattern of reckless and destructive behavior by Mohammed bin Salman that ranges from the bombing of civilians in Yemen to the imprisonment and torture of a number of Saudi female activists, as well as a U.S. citizen,” newspaper wrote.
The Post’s editorial board noted there are currently several pieces of legislation addressing Khashoggi and the Yemen war that are pending in the Senate and House of Representatives.
The broadest one, however, is a resolution sponsored by Senator Bob Menendez and six others, saying that any Saudi official or member of the royal family that is found to be responsible or complicit in the killing of Khashoggi would face sanctions.