Democrats Will Examine Khashoggi Murder And Trump’s Statements, Says New House Intelligence Chair

Chip SomodevillaGetty Images

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the presumed next chairperson of the House Intelligence Committee, says that House Democrats will examine the evidence gathered in regard to the killing of American-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to CNN.

Schiff says the House will also examine the overall relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, long-term allies in the oil industry. The Democrats will look at intelligence gathered about the killing and compare it to statements made by Donald Trump.

“Then it will be quite clear whether the President is relying on the intelligence community and our best source of information or whether the President is representing something very different,” Schiff said.

Should the intelligence conflict with things that Trump has said, Congress will be “armed with good enough information that it can take action to make sure that our national interests are protected and that we base our policy on the facts.”

Trump released an exclamation point-heavy statement on Tuesday re-affirming the U.S.-Saudi relationship and touting the deal he made with the country that includes a multi-billion-dollar arms sale.

Schiff says he plans a “deep dive” into Saudi Arabia, including how “the kingdom is treating its critics or members of the press generally.”

Earlier this week, the Inquisitr reported that both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International released reports that Saudi Arabia has been detaining and torturing human rights activists.

The House Intelligence Committee plans to assess not just Khashoggi’s murder, but the current war in Yemen and the stability of the Saudi royal family, according to The Guardian.

Schiff will likely take over control of the committee in January, when Congress is filled out by the new Democrats elected to office earlier this month.

Despite the CIA’s assessment that Khashoggi’s murder was ultimately ordered by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, Donald Trump has largely dismissed this.

Khashoggi was last seen alive on October 2, when he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Khashoggi, a Saudi-born journalist living in the U.S. and working for the Washington Post, was attempting to obtain paperwork so he could marry his girlfriend. He never came out of the consulate building. He was reportedly tortured and murdered within the facility.

According to Trump, the crown prince has denied that he had anything to do with the murder.

Schiff plans to view Trump’s private financial relationship with Saudi Arabia, as well as the CIA’s findings into the murder itself.

In a 2015 rally, Donald Trump openly stated that he has earned “hundreds of millions” with Saudi Arabia business interests.