US President Donald Trump refused to meet a legal mandate Friday to tell Congress whether the White House thinks Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is personally responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, CNN reported.
“The President maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when appropriate,” a senior administration official told CNN.
A National Security Council source insisted that the administration is under “no legal obligation” to respond, but added that the State Department would send a letter to Congress. The source, however, did not disclose the contents of that letter.
The immediate reaction from Congress was unequivocal.
“The law is clear,” said Juan Pachon, spokesman for the Democratic side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The President has no discretion here. He’s either complying with the law or breaking it.”
On October 2, 2018 The Washington Post contributor, Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi had entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to validate documents, but had gone missing. It was argued that he was killed there for writing articles that criticize Riyadh. Saudi Arabia, however, had denied these accusations claiming that the journalist had disappeared after leaving the consulate. But subsequently, Riyadh confirmed that Khashoggi was killed at the consulate.