Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) shared his personal connection with murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his intense questioning of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his response to the killing.
In a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the State Department’s proposed budget Thursday, Connolly revealed to Pompeo that Khashoggi was his constituent and that they had met less than a year before his death.
“On October 2, 2018, 11 months later, my constituent, a legal resident of the United States who lived in Tysons Corner in Fairfax County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, was lured into the sovereign territory consulate of the Saudi government in Istanbul,” Connolly explained, furthering details of the day of Khashoggi’s murder.
Connolly shared a picture of Pompeo meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman exactly two weeks later.
“I guess what this picture raises is a question: At what point as Americans do we insist that the inalienable rights enumerated in our Declaration of Independence, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — all three of which were denied to my constituent Mr. Khashogg — when do they trump diplomatic nicety?”
Watch the video below:
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 27, 2019
Connolly pointed to reports that speculated Salaman ordered the murder and asked the secretary what he was doing to hold Khashoggi’s killers responsible.
“We are continuing all across the government certainly in overt means with all the tools we have in our capacity to learn more facts about this,” Pompeo answered.
“President Trump has made it very clear we will continue to work to identify those who were responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and we will hold them accountable.”
Connolly pressed Pompeo, asking if he would investigate anyone “no matter how high up.”
Pompeo replied, “I said, anyone.”
The Central Intelligence Agency concluded earlier this year that they had “high confidence” the Saudi crown prince was involved in the killings, but Pompeo told reporters that “there’s no direct evidence” linking Salaman to the murder.
Saudi officials announced earlier this month they were continuing to investigate the killing.