February 26, 2021

Wyden Praises Release of Unclassified Khashoggi Report; Naming Mohammed bin Salman Marks Beginning of Justice for Jamal Khashoggi

Wyden authored 2019 law requiring public release of the unclassified report

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today commended President Joe Biden and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines for releasing an unclassified report naming Prince Mohammed bin Salman as responsible for ordering the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi: 

“Jamal Khashoggi never backed down from holding the powerful to account. His courageous journalism cost Jamal his life. Yet, for years, the last administration shielded the Saudi regime from any kind of responsibility or scrutiny.

“Today, thanks to President Biden and DNI Haines, America is sending the message that this lawlessness won’t stand. Transparency is the first step to accountability, which is why I wrote the law requiring the release of this report. By naming Mohammed bin Salman as the amoral murderer responsible for this heinous crime, the Biden-Harris administration is beginning to finally reassess America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and make clear that oil won’t wash away blood.

“There is still far more to do to ensure that the Saudi government follows international laws. There should be personal consequences for MBS – he should suffer sanctions, including financial, travel and legal – and the Saudi government should suffer grave consequences as long as he remains in the government. That accountability also must include justice for Fallon Smart, a Portland girl who was struck and killed by a Saudi national who then fled back home to Saudi Arabia. Fallon’s life ended far too soon and justice for her death has taken far too long. ”

Wyden authored legislation requiring the release of the unclassified report, which became law in 2019. Director Haines pledged to follow that law in response to a question from Wyden earlier this year.