Kaine Statement on Intel Report Confirming Saudi-Sponsored Murder of Jamal Khashoggi
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC), released the following statement after the Biden Administration released the unclassified intelligence assessment confirming Saudi Arabia’s state-sponsored murder of Virginia resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi:
“I’m relieved this Administration did what the Trump Administration consistently refused to do: publicly acknowledge that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was responsible for the horrific killing of Virginia resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi. While the finding is unsurprising, it’s important the truth is released and that Saudi Arabia be held truly accountable for this heinous crime before its relationship with the U.S. can improve. Now, Saudi Arabia must immediately release all wrongfully held peaceful activists, including Virginian Salah Al-Haidar, and stop using travel bans and assets freezes to stifle dissent and trap U.S. citizens and residents inside its borders. As chair of the SFRC subcommittee that oversees human rights, I will continue to shine a spotlight on egregious human rights abuses anywhere.”
Kaine has been outspoken against the Saudi-sponsored murder of Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi and has demanded accountability since 2018. Following a recommendation made by the United Nations, Kaine called on the FBI to open an investigation into the murder of Khashoggi in July 2019 after months of continued inaction by the Trump Administration. Last year, Kaine pressed President Trump’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations on his ties to a group potentially linked to Khashoggi’s murder. This week, Kaine and Congressman Gerry Connolly led their colleagues in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the State Department to press Saudi Arabia to drop false charges against two Virginians and other Americans in the Kingdom.