October 09, 2018

Connolly-Kaine Lead Letter Urging President Trump To Raise Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance With The Governments Of Saudi Arabia And Turkey

Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), led a bipartisan, bicameral letter urging President Trump to raise Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance with the governments of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Khashoggi, a Virginia resident and distinguished journalist, has been missing since October 2nd when he was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. According to some reports, Mr. Khashoggi may have been murdered.  

“These conflicting reports and rampant speculation that he was murdered demand immediate answers from both Saudi Arabia and Turkey. We urge you to extend support from all appropriate U.S. federal agencies, such as the FBI, to these governments to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation of Mr. Khashoggi’s case,” the Members wrote.

“We sincerely hope that Mr. Khashoggi emerges unharmed and is free to return safely to the United States, especially given the growing and deeply troubling trend of targeting journalists and oppositionists, not only in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but around the world,” the Members added. “The U.S. must speak out loudly wherever and whenever this occurs.”

Connolly and Kaine were joined on the letter by Senator Mark R. Warner, and Representatives Beyer, Castro, Chabot, Cicilline, Delbene, Deutch, Dingell, Engel, Espaillat, Hastings, Lieu, McCaul, Meadows, Meeks, Price, Raskin, Schneider, Sherman, Sires, and Suozzi.

The full letter follows and is available here.

October 9, 2018

The President

The White House

Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

We write to urge you to personally raise the issue of Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and welfare with the governments of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. We also request that you offer U.S. support to any independent investigation into his disappearance.

As you know, Mr. Khashoggi is an internationally renowned journalist and columnist for the Washington Post. In fact, Mr. Khashoggi was granted an O-1 visa, which is reserved for those with “extraordinary ability in the fields of science, education, business or athletics…indicating that the person is one of the small percentage who has risen to the very top of the field of endeavor.”

On October 2, 2018, Mr. Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in order to obtain paperwork related to his upcoming marriage. Reportedly, there has been no confirmation that he departed the consulate though Saudi officials maintain that Mr. Khashoggi did so shortly after he visited.  According to President Erdogan, the Justice Ministry and the chief prosecutor in Istanbul are undertaking an investigation into Mr. Khashoggi’s whereabouts.

These conflicting reports and rampant speculation that he was murdered demand immediate answers from both Saudi Arabia and Turkey. We urge you to extend support from all appropriate U.S. federal agencies, such as the FBI, to these governments to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation of Mr. Khashoggi’s case. We sincerely hope that Mr. Khashoggi emerges unharmed and is free to return safely to the United States, especially given the growing and deeply troubling trend of targeting journalists and oppositionists, not only in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, but around the world. The U.S. must speak out loudly wherever and whenever this occurs. 

Best Regards,

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