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Trump may skip deadline for report on Saudi journalist's murder


WASHINGTON: The Trump management signaled on Friday it used to be not likely to meet a closing date to report back to Congress on whether or not it intends to impose sanctions on the ones answerable for the homicide of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, prompting an indignant backlash on Capitol Hill.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers brought about a provision of the Global Magnitsky human rights act in October, giving the management 120 days till February 8 to document on who used to be answerable for the death of Khashoggi and whether or not the United States would impose sanctions on that person or persons.

Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote for The Washington Post, used to be killed at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in early October, sparking global outrage. In Saudi Arabia, 11 suspects have been indicted in the homicide, and officers have rejected accusations that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing.

Congressional aides mentioned that they had no longer gained a document from the White House through early night time on Friday. Some mentioned they nonetheless was hoping to obtain it through early next week, but the management mentioned President Donald Trump did not feel the want to send one.

"The president maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when appropriate," a senior management professional mentioned in an emailed statement. "The US government will continue to consult with Congress and work to hold accountable those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's killing."

Some lawmakers responded angrily and mentioned they intended to punish whoever used to be responsible.

"The administration's refusal to deal with this issue and keep Congress informed underscores the need to get to the bottom of what is motivating the Trump foreign policy," Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, mentioned in a statement.

The New York Times reported on Thursday that the Saudi crown prince had mentioned a 12 months earlier than Khashoggi's death that he would use "a bullet" on Khashoggi if he did not return home and finish his grievance of the government.

Saudi minister of state for overseas affairs Adel al-Jubeir informed newshounds on Friday the prince did not order Khashoggi's killing but declined remark at the Times tale.

Al-Jubeir mentioned he sought after Congress to let the Saudi felony procedure conclude earlier than taking motion on sanctions. "We are doing what we need to do in terms of acknowledging the mistake, investigating, charging and holding people accountable," he mentioned.

Al-Jubeir mentioned he believed some congressional grievance used to be "driven by politics."

'THE LAW IS CLEAR'

Juan Pachon, a spokesman for Senator Bob Menendez, the highest Democrat at the Foreign Relations Committee, mentioned Trump used to be breaking the legislation through failing to send the document.

"The law is clear," Pachon mentioned. "It requires a determination and report in response to the letter we sent with (former Foreign Relations Chairman Bob) Corker. The president has no discretion here. He's either complying with the law or breaking it."

Members of Congress, including many of Trump's fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, have clamored for a robust response to Khashoggi's homicide as well as the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the place a Saudi-led coalition is combating Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Ahead of the closing date, a bunch of Republican and Democratic senators on Thursday renewed their push to penalize Saudi Arabia, unveiling legislation to bar some arms sales and impose sanctions on the ones answerable for Khashoggi's death.

Trump has resisted such legislative efforts, viewing guns sales as a very powerful supply of US jobs and status through the Saudi crown prince. He may be reluctant to disturb the strategic courting with the kingdom, observed as a very powerful regional counterbalance to Iran.

Senator Jim Risch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, mentioned he expected more legislation can be offered.


Risch additionally mentioned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrote to him on Friday, describing the Trump management's past sanctions and adding that he expected "a more detailed briefing" later.


The United States imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officers - no longer including the crown prince - in November for their role in Khashoggi's killing.


A State Department spokesperson confirmed that Pompeo had provided an replace to members of Congress on Friday, but did not give main points on what he mentioned.


After receiving Pompeo's letter, Senator Menendez mentioned: "I am very disappointed that the response from Secretary Pompeo doesn't come close to fulfilling the statutory mandate and demonstrates what the administration has wanted all along - the Khashoggi murder to be forgotten."


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