- The Washington Times - Friday, November 23, 2018

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday that investigating the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi will be a top priority when the new session begins.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Mr. Schiff said the committee must be fully debriefed on the intelligence community’s findings.

“We will certainly want to examine what the intelligence community knows about the murder,” Mr. Schiff told The Washington Post.

The plan is to assess what American intelligence concluded and how certain that conclusion is. Then members of Congress will be able to determine if President Trump is misconstruing what the intelligence community found in order to protect Saudi Arabia.

“We’ll look at what the intelligence community assessments are at any given time,” Mr. Schiff said. “Then it will be quite clear whether the president is relying on the intelligence community and our best source of information or whether the president is representing something very different.”

Under Mr. Schiff, the committee will also look at the U.S.-Saudi Arabia relationship in a broader sense, and how the Middle Eastern government treats those that publicly criticize their leaders.

Mr. Schiff’s comments come just a day after the president doubled down on his defense of Saudi Arabia.

“We have a very strong ally in Saudi Arabia,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Thanksgiving, “We have an ally that says they did not commit at the top level, the crown prince, the king, they did not commit this atrocity.”

The president claimed the CIA did not conclude that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder.

“They said he might’ve done it. That’s a big difference,” he said.

On Tuesday, the president released an official statement announcing that the U.S. will continue to work with Saudi Arabia, which he called “a steadfast partner,” despite its role in Mr. Khashoggi’s brutal slaying.

• Gabriella Muñoz can be reached at gmunoz@washingtontimes.com.

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