Wed Oct 10, 2018, 10:43 PM

Bipartisan Senate Group Forces U.S. Probe of Saudi Journalist's Disappearance

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is forcing the Trump administration to investigate the disappearance of a Saudi journalist, triggering a human rights probe that could result in sanctions against Saudi officials and entities.

In a letter to President Donald Trump Wednesday, senators invoked the Global Magnitsky Act of 2016 to seek an investigation in the case of Jamal Khashoggi, who hasn’t been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. The move appears aimed at prompting a more active response from an administration that has been restrained in its reaction to Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“The recent disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi suggests that he could be a victim of a gross violation of internationally recognized human rights,” the letter said. “Our expectation is that in making your determination you will consider any relevant information, including with respect to the highest ranking officials in the government of Saudi Arabia.”

The Magnitsky Act gives the Trump administration 120 days to respond to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a decision on potential sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations.

Lawmakers have been making increasingly strong statements regarding the U.S.-Saudi relationship this week after reports that the kingdom sought to silence one of its most outspoken critics. The fallout could reshape alliances in the region, where the U.S. is seeking to stabilize Syria, contain Iranian weapon development and support a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war.

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senators Bob Corker and Bob Menendez, and their counterparts on the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the State Department, Lindsey Graham and Patrick Leahy, triggered the Magnitsky action.

But the 18 others also signed the letter to send Trump a strong bipartisan message of support for a serious U.S. response to Khashoggi’s disappearance, Senate aides said.

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Reply Bipartisan Senate Group Forces U.S. Probe of Saudi Journalist's Disappearance (Original post)
Troll2 Oct 2018 OP
RCW2014 Oct 2018 #1

Response to Troll2 (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2018, 10:50 PM

1. Invoking the "Magnitsky Act" is some special sauce indeed.

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