House Democrat to bring Khashoggi's fiancée to State of the Union
By Rebecca Klar
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) will bring Hatice Cengiz, the fiancée of murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, as his guest to the State of the Union on Wednesday.
“Hatice’s courage to sit in the House Chamber Tuesday night should serve as a clarion call to the President that no matter how high it goes, Saudi Arabia must be held accountable for the murder of this loving father and fiancée, respected journalist, U.S. resident, my constituent, and reformer,” Connolly said in a statement Monday.
“Congress has acted. Now too must the President,” he added.
Khashoggi, who was born in Saudi Arabia but resided in Virginia, was killed in October 2018 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. The CIA concluded about a month later that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Khashoggi, who frequently criticized the Saudi government.
Connolly, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the Protection of Saudi Dissidents Act, which aims to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for Khashoggi’s murder. The act would prohibit arm sales to Saudi intelligence for 120 days and every 120 days thereafter until Saudi Arabia meets certain human rights conditions.
The act would also require a report on whether Saudi authorities engaged in intimidation or harassment of Khashoggi or any individual in the U.S. Additionally, it would require the intelligence community to report on whether it fulfilled its duty to warn Khashoggi of an impending threat against him.
Trump will give the State of the Union address Tuesday, the same day the Senate is set to take a final vote on his removal. Trump is expected to be acquitted in the GOP-controlled upper chamber.