WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and lead author of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, issued the following statement regarding reports the White House will not make a determination on the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“The Global Magnitsky Act requires the president to make a determination of responsibility within 120 days when the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee makes such a request regarding an extrajudicial killing, torture or other gross violation of international human rights. On October, 120 days ago yesterday, I signed such a request along with then-Chairman Corker, Ranking Member Menendez and other colleagues. President Trump’s flagrant willingness to brush aside American rule of law to protect those in Saudi Arabia responsible for the brutal death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is astounding.
“The US-Saudi relationship is important to US national security but it should not provide blanket immunity to individuals at any level of society to engage in extrajudicial killings. America’s strength is in our values. The President’s demonstrated willingness to sacrifice those core values will cause more harm to our national security than admitting the truth about the Saudi Crown Prince’s complicity in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The Trump Administration must follow the law and send Congress a presidential determination on this case. We also need an independent international investigation into this murder.”