Schiff: If Khashoggi was fighting in consulate he was fighting 'for his life'

Schiff: If Khashoggi was fighting in consulate he was fighting 'for his life'
© Greg Nash

Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJohnson: Whistleblower 'exposed things that didn't need to be exposed' Schiff knocks Mulvaney over failure to testify in impeachment probe Impeachment hearings likely to get worse for Republicans MORE (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday that Saudi Arabia's explanation for the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi is "not credible."

Schiff weighed in on Twitter after Saudi Arabia released a statement claiming that Khashoggi died after getting into a fight with people at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Democratic lawmaker wrote that if Khashoggi was involved in a physical altercation, it was a fight "for his life." He also called for Congress to take the lead in the absence of action by the Trump administration.

Schiff's comments echoed those of other lawmakers, including Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens MORE (R-S.C), who said the Saudi's statement was not credible.

The Saudi government said for the first time Friday that Khashoggi was dead and that 18 Saudi nationals had been arrested and are being questioned in connection with the case.

Turkish authorities have claimed that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the consulate by Saudi operatives. Before Friday, the Saudi kingdom denied any knowledge of the journalist's whereabouts.

The incident has sparked international uproar, with the Saudi government facing pressure to explain the disappearance of Khashoggi, who was living in Virginia and served as an opinion writer for The Washington Post.

He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to obtain documents for his marriage. President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE acknowledged on Thursday that it appeared the journalist had been killed.