On the Killing of Jamal Khashoggi
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Human Rights, issued the following statement on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi:
“The extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi government officials while on the grounds of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he went to obtain a marriage license, shocks the conscience. It is for cases such as this that Congress passed the Global Magnitsky Act—a bill for which I was the House author. Those who perpetrated—or ordered—this heinous act can and should be specifically targeted and sanctioned.
“Saudi Arabia for decades has exported radical Islamist ideology around the world. Indeed, the complicity of certain Saudi royal family members and institutions in the 9/11 attacks led Congress to override President Barack Obama’s ill-considered veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism, or JASTA, Act in order to allow families of the 9/11 victims to sue complicit Saudis.
“While many had hoped that with the ascendency of Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia had turned toward a reformist path, the killing of Jamal Khashoggi casts that narrative into doubt. This in turn jeopardizes the constructive role Saudi Arabia has played in checking Iranian ambitions—and the neo-Ottoman ambitions of Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan—in the Persian Gulf and beyond.
“Thus I call on the President to use the selective, surgical sanctioning power Congress provided him in the Magnitsky Act to hold accountable those complicit in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”