Following Khashoggi Murder, Pingree Backs Bipartisan Bill to Ban Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Seeking answers in the murder of Jamal Khassoggi, a writer and journalist who was detained and believed to be tortured and killed by the Saudi Arabian government, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has cosponsored H.R. 7070, a bipartisan bill that would prohibit arms sales and security assistance to Saudi Arabia unless Secretary Pompeo certifies that the Saudi Arabian government did not order or direct the disappearance, imprisonment, or death of Jamal Khassoggi.
“The Trump administration refuses to provide answers about the Saudi monarchy’s involvement in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi so Congress must act to ensure the President’s personal business interests have not overruled America’s values and priorities.” said Pingree. “The Saudi monarchy is not our ally. They have conducted a brutal war in Yemen that has created a humanitarian catastrophe. They torture those who they believe to be dissidents, like Jamal Khassoggi, and treat women as second-class citizens. Rather than aid and abet this malign behavior, we should be reconsidering this relationship.”
In addition to H.R. 7070, Pingree supports the effort by other Members of Congress to urge President Trump to invoke Global Magnitsky human rights sanctions authority against those responsible for Khashoggi’s death, and has signed letters to the Administration demanding answers on whether the U.S. intercepted communications among Saudi officials discussing plans to detain Khashoggi and disclose what actions were taken to warn him of an attack.
Pingree has also been highly critical of Saudi complicity in Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe. Since 2016, she has voted for amendments, cosponsored legislation and signed letters to prevent U.S. forces from engaging in hostilities in Yemen, block the transfer of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia and allow for access to humanitarian assistance.