United States Senator Ron Wyden on January 24 reportedly said that he will move to compel America's intelligence chief to release information about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi if the administration does not produce a report on the killing before the end of the impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump. The Senate has the power under a 1970s-era to unilaterally declassify information and now by invoking the same power, Wyden will be pushing the Trump administration to release the report into the October 2018 killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
According to international media reports, a similar report was due by law to have been released earlier this month, however, Wyden said that the administration has flouted the deadline. While speaking to international media reporters, Wyden said that the goal of the report was naming names with respect to who ordered it, who was complicit and what might have been done to prevent it. He believes that the threat to use the authority might push the administration to find an unclassified assessment which might draw support from at least some Republicans on the committee.
Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident who was living in a self-imposed exile in the US, was reportedly murdered in Istanbul in October 2018 by agents of the Saudi Government. Khashoggi was a columnist who had written critical pieces on the crown Prince and Saudi Government for Washington Post which is a publication owned by Jeff Bezos. The CIA reportedly believes that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Khashoggi.
In a recent turn of events, media reports also suggest that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ mobile phone got hacked after receiving a WhatsApp message from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2018. The alleged involvement of Saudi Crown Prince and his inner circle in the hacking of The Washington Post owner’s phone might open a can of worms as the incident was followed by the revelation of Bezos’ extramarital affairs and murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Post’s columnist.
However, the Trump administration, a close ally of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman personally, has not given a statement over the issue. Meanwhile, Riyadh has blatantly shunned the allegations. Calling the reports "absurd" Saudi Embassy in Washington said, "We call for an investigation on these claims so that we can have all the facts out."