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State Department legally skirted Congress freeze on Saudi arms sales, inquiry finds

An inspector general's report redacted by the State Department says that while the department found ways to legally bypass congressional restrictions on arms sales to Saudi Arabia, measures that Congress had called for were not taken.

The US State Department found at least two ways to skirt Congress’ freeze on $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both of them legal, according to an inquiry report released just days after the department’s inspector general resigned.

The State Department inspector general report submitted Monday says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo acted in accordance with US law when he issued an “emergency” certification in May 2019 to bypass Congress’ order to halt controversial arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. A redacted, unclassified version of the report was released today

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