Friday was the deadline under the Magnitsky Act for President Trump to submit a formal report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was murdered in October by the Saudi government, and senators submitted the Magnitsky request on October 10.
The act gives the president 120 days to respond to Congress on the matter, requires determinations on involvement and sanctions on those responsible. President Trump has chosen to ignore the deadline, however, and never submitted a report at all.
The administration confirmed the deadline existed and was deliberately ignored, saying Trump believes he has “discretion to decline to act.” The Senate saw this coming, which is why earlier in the week they already moved on to introduce legislation to hold Saudis accountable over the murder.
US intelligence agencies have concluded that the Saudi Crown Prince almost certainly ordered the murder. This is the consensus amongst pretty much everybody except President Trump, who has insisted that assigning such blame would risk US arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
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