Durbin: Expel The Saudi Ambassador To The U.S.

 WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today again called for the expulsion of the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman, son of King Salman of Saudi Arabia and the younger brother of the Crown Prince, following his return to the U.S. given the clear evidence that the Crown Prince was directly involved in the murder of noted journalist and critic of the Saudi government, Jamal Khashoggi.  Durbin first called for the expulsion of the Saudi Ambassador in October following the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi.

“I said it months ago and I will say it again: we should formally expel the Saudi Ambassador to the United States given the Crown Prince’s direct involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Jamal Khashoggi.  And we should call on our allies to do the same,” Durbin said.  “Unless the Saudi kingdom understands that civilized countries around the world reject this conduct and make sure that a price is paid, the Saudis will continue to do it.  Whether Saudi Arabia, Russia, Cambodia, or Hungary, the Trump Administration must stop bending to the will of autocrats and dictators around the world and take decisive action to show that the U.S. will not stand for such horrendous acts.”

On Tuesday, Durbin and a number of Senators received a classified briefing on Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi from CIA Director Gina Haspel.  Following that briefing, Durbin called for a full Senate briefing by CIA Director Haspel on the Saudi’s involvement and stated that “While I cannot discuss the content of the briefing, it certainly reinforced my support for the bipartisan joint war powers resolution to end unauthorized U.S. military involvement in Yemen and the need for a stronger response by the U.S. and the Trump Administration to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.”

Last week, Durbin voted for and the Senate overwhelming advanced a joint resolution that would halt U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen pursuant to the War Powers Resolution.

In March, Durbin supported a similar bipartisan joint war powers resolution to end unauthorized U.S. military involvement in Yemen, which was the first-ever vote in the Senate to withdraw U.S. Armed Forces from an unauthorized war.  Durbin has a long history of defending Congress’s constitutional role in matters of war, regardless of who was in the White House.