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Hollywood’s Sean Penn in Istanbul to shoot documentary on Khashoggi murder

Hollywood’s Sean Penn in Istanbul to shoot documentary on Khashoggi murder

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from SC who has often been a Trump ally, said the only conclusion was that Prince Mohammed, known as MBS, is responsible for the killing.

CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed two Senate committees on Capitol Hill earlier on Tuesday on the agency's findings about Khashoggi's murder.

Corker suggested that President Donald Trump had condoned the murder of a journalist by refusing to condemn the Saudi crown prince.

The proposal, brought by six senators from both political parties on Wednesday, declares with a "a high level of confidence" that Saudi Arabia's de facto leader, also known as MbS, "was complicit" in the murder of Khashoggi.

After offering numerous contradictory explanations, Riyadh later said Khashoggi had been killed and his body dismembered when negotiations to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed. "The motion to proceed's going to pass, and we're going to be in a fearless new world", the Connecticut Democrat told Roll Call on Tuesday.

In addition, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said senators will meet Thursday morning to see if they can agree on a proposal for sanctions against Saudi Arabia.

"The worldwide community seems to doubt Saudi Arabia's commitment to prosecute this heinous crime", the official said, adding that by extraditing all suspects to Turkey, "Saudi authorities could address those concerns".

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"But at the same time, it's sort of hard to call this a cover up given the fact that everybody in that briefing last week knew that Pompeo and Mattis were misleading us, knew there was no way this murder happened without the consent and direction of MBS".

Bob Corker of Tennessee and Lindsey Graham of SC are leading the charge to offer new legislation that would rebuke Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as potentially limit USA involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, saying their push was bolstered by the classified briefing, which detailed intelligence linking the Saudi leader to the murder of the US-based journalist. Graham said that may be true, but there is certainly a "smoking bonesaw", alluding to the murder weapon suspected to have killed Khashoggi.

The clear and unusually biting assessment put Republican senators at odds with the White House, which has steadfastly refused to cast blame on Saudi Arabia's leadership for the grisly death of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, the New York Times reported. "You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi".

The administration has sanctioned 17 Saudis expected to involved, but lawmakers are demanding much more serious consequences. In an interview with CNN last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said they had no direct evidence to prove Prince Mohammed was behind the murder.

"They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran", Trump said in the statement.

He said that Saudi Arabia disrespected its relationship with the United States and needs to fix it. If it advances beyond that, senators have an opportunity to debate and add amendments to the resolution before a final vote.