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Chairman Menendez Statement on U.S. Intelligence Report on the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi

NEWARK – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement in reaction to the Biden administration’s publication of a U.S. intelligence report on Saudi Arabia’s assassination of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi:

“Today the United States government finally acknowledged what the rest of the world has already known: Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman personally approved the operation in which Saudi assassins brutally kidnapped, dismembered, and murdered journalist and American resident Jamal Khashoggi.

“By ending Donald Trump’s cover up of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, President Biden has demonstrated his commitment to transparency and compliance with law. This was the only appropriate first step, and I’m pleased that the Biden administration has taken it. At the same time, I am hopeful it is only a first step and that the administration plans to take concrete measures holding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally responsible for his role in this heinous crime.

“That President Trump refused to disclose this information for years and even went so far as to defend the heinous actions of a foreign leader over the integrity of his own intelligence agencies will be one of the many stains on his tenure.

“The United States must send a clear signal to our allies and adversaries alike that fundamental values, including respect for basic human rights and human dignity, drive U.S. foreign policy. We must also ensure that there are real consequences for individuals like MBS; if not, autocrats around the world will get the message that impunity is the rule.”