Dem senators request classified briefing on Khashoggi

Democratic senators are requesting a classified briefing about what the U.S. intelligence community knew about threats to slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Seven Democratic senators and independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersAlan Dershowitz: In defense of Chelsea Clinton O'Rourke: Decisions on late-term abortions 'best left to a woman and her doctor' CNN to host town hall with Cory Booker in South Carolina MORE (Vt.) sent a letter on Tuesday to Director of National Intelligence Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsOvernight Defense: Pentagon lists construction projects at risk from emergency declaration | Officials deny report on leaving 1,000 troops in Syria | Spy budget request nears B Trump administration requests nearly B for spy budget Dems request probe into spa owner suspected of trying to sell access to Trump MORE requesting the briefing. They also said they want to know if the intelligence community warned the U.S.-based journalist about threats to his life. 

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"Congress must understand the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. In order to fulfill our oversight obligation, we request a classified briefing regarding the implementation of the duty to warn determinations articulated in Intelligence Community Directive 191 ... and its specific application to the Jamal Khashoggi case," the senators wrote. 

The directive outlines when and how the intelligence community will warn individuals or groups about specific threats regarding death, serious bodily injury or kidnapping. 

Senators, in the letter to Coats, said the directive is a "clear message" that the government takes threats seriously. 

They noted that The Washington Post reported that the U.S. government had intercepted communications from Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture Khashoggi. 

"Questions regarding whether Mr. Khashoggi was notified of known threats to his life have raised serious concerns. ... The Intelligence Community must clearly account for any known threats levied against Mr. Khashoggi and whether the Directive was triggered appropriately and followed accordingly," the senators added.

Tuesday's letter was signed by Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen GOP moves to rein in president's emergency powers Senate votes to confirm Neomi Rao to appeals court MORE (Ill.), Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat at privacy hearing | 2020 Dems to debate 'monopoly power' | GOP rips net neutrality bill | Warren throws down gauntlet over big tech | New scrutiny for Trump over AT&T merger Trump faces new scrutiny over AT&T-Time Warner merger MORE (Md.), Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel Schatz Advocate says Trump administration's new proposal would do 'absolutely nothing' to alleviate student debt Hillicon Valley: Huawei official asks US to ease restrictions | Facebook loses top execs | Defense officials hit Google over China | Pro-Trump 'safe space' app pulled over security flaw | Senators offer bill on facial recognition technology Senators introduce bill to regulate facial recognition technology MORE (Hawaii), Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen Patrick Leahy sits at center of partisan judicial nominations Schwarzenegger blasts Trump budget for taking money from 'poor little kids' MORE (Vt.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharCNN to host town hall with Cory Booker in South Carolina Howard Schultz to be featured in Fox News town hall The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms MORE (Minn.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeySenate Dems petition Saudi king to release dissidents, US citizen The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat at privacy hearing | 2020 Dems to debate 'monopoly power' | GOP rips net neutrality bill | Warren throws down gauntlet over big tech | New scrutiny for Trump over AT&T merger MORE (Mass.), as well as Sanders. 

In addition to a classified briefing, senators are asking for information on how many times individuals have been warned of threats under Directive 191. They also want an updated intelligence assessment on Saudi Arabia. 

Khashoggi, a opinion contributor to The Washington Post, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to get paperwork needed for his marriage and is believed to have been murdered on the scene. 

The Saudi government initially said Khashoggi had left the consulate shortly after he arrived. They acknowledged on Oct. 19 that he was killed inside the consulate and that 18 Saudis had been arrested. 

The explanation from the Saudi government has been criticized by a number of senators in both parties, who have questioned the level of involvement by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudis have said that the crown prince known as MBS was not aware of a plan to intercept Khashoggi, but some senators have questioned how that could be possible.

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoState Department blocks reporters from Pompeo briefing with faith-based media: report The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms Pompeo jokes he'll be secretary of State until Trump 'tweets me out of office' MORE said last week that the U.S. is revoking visas for several Saudi officials in retaliation for the incident, and would be considering future sanctions against the country.