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Menendez Statement on Trump Admin’s Refusal to Comply with Khashoggi Sanctions Determination

NEWARK  – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement upon receiving a letter from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding the murder of U.S. resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

The brief letter is the Trump administration’s official response to ranking member Menendez and then-chairman Corker’s triggering the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act – a law that gave the President 120 days to determine whether a foreign individual is responsible for extrajudicial killings, and report to Congress on whether the President intends to impose sanctions on that person. Today’s letter fell far short of what is required under that law. 

“Today the Trump administration showed that it is willing to ignore U.S. law in its continued effort to stonewall accountability for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” said Senator Menendez. “The Administration failed to meet its legal requirement to make a determination of responsibility for this heinous murder and report to Congress. I am very disappointed that the response from Secretary Pompeo doesn’t come close to fulfilling the statutory mandate and demonstrates what the administration has wanted all along – the Khashoggi murder to be forgotten. I will continue to push for the President to fully hold accountable those responsible for the death of Mr. Khashoggi and to uphold United States laws.”

Just yesterday, Senator Menendez was joined by a bipartisan group of senators in introducing the Saudi Arabia Accountability and Yemen Act of 2019, comprehensive legislation to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and the Saudi-led coalition for its role in the devastating war in Yemen.