Panel recommended release of US intelligence report on Khashoggi murder: report
A government panel has recommended that President Biden declassify the full intelligence report on the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Journal reported on Thursday that the Public Interest Declassification Board, a group of experts that advocate for increased transparency with national security information, made the recommendation in June, a few weeks before Biden visited Saudi Arabia and met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
A declassified report released in February 2021 revealed the U.S. intelligence concluded the Saudi crown prince was responsible for ordering Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, to be captured or killed.
The Journal’s report is based on documents and interviews with people familiar with the matter. The Journal reported that it could not determine what information is included in the report that has not already been publicized.
Biden said he brought up Khashoggi’s death in a conversation with the crown prince during the president’s visit to Saudi Arabia in July. Biden campaigned on making Saudi Arabia a “pariah” for Khashoggi’s murder but signaled his administration is softening its position with his trip to the Middle Eastern country.
White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson told The Hill that two related reports that provide “extensive detail” about Khashoggi’s murder have already been released to the public during the Biden administration.
She said the reports only contain minor redactions where the material implicates sources and methods or is related to administrative matters or classification markings.
Watson said the Office of the Director of National Intelligence went through a “robust review” of material related to Khashoggi.
The Journal reported that Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) asked the panel to review the report in September 2020. The review started in November 2021, and the committee voted that the report be completely declassified.
This story was updated at 2:02 p.m. Sept. 30.