Congress marks 100th day since Khashoggi’s murder
Congress commemorated the 100th day since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi this evening with a bipartisan event on Capitol Hill that set the stage for renewed action against Riyadh in the new Congress.
Speaking before lawmakers, press freedom advocates and journalists, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., hinted at more repercussions to come.
Pelosi thanked the co-chairmen of the House Caucus for Freedom of the Press, Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, for organizing the event. She called on Congress “in a bipartisan, bicameral way, not only to remember Jamal Khashoggi but to act upon the concern that we have.”
“We can and we should wipe the smug smile of impunity off of Mohammed bin Salman’s face and restore proper balance to our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”
Some of the other 14 lawmakers speaking at the event were more blunt.
“The author of the crime, the man who ordered it, must be held accountable,” said Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., calling on President Donald Trump to sanction the Saudi crown prince for allegedly ordering the crime. “If the administration will not do what is right, Congress can, and I think Congress will. We can and we should wipe the smug smile of impunity off of Mohammed bin Salman’s face and restore proper balance to our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”
Still, Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a co-sponsor of tonight's event, praised some of the crown prince’s reforms even as he called for changes in the relationship.
“I know we’re not supposed to get into Saudi specifically here, but they’ve been an ally at times,” said McCaul. “There’s a geopolitical relationship. We saw some promising signs, I think, in Saudi moving forward, like the decision to allow women to drive, I thought that was very significant. But this gruesome killing was a major setback in our foreign policy, and it shows us that changes still need to be made.”
- Bryant Harris