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 SchiffFive takeaways from Barr's new powers in 'spying' probe Trump declassification move unnerves Democrats Trump appeals order siding with House Democrats bank subpoenas 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 GrahamTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Climate change is a GOP issue, too New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes 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 TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE acknowledged on Thursday that it appeared the journalist had been killed.