Future United States House Foreign Affairs Committee leader, Senator Eliot Engel, has planned to launch an investigation about US policy on Saudi Arabia, including ties between senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Engel is “committed to conducting a top-to-bottom review of US policy towards Saudi Arabia and that includes what has driven the US response to the Jamal Khashoggi murder,” announced Foreign Affairs Committee Democrat spokesman Tim Mulvey, speaking to the CNN on Monday.
Asked if the probe may include ties between Kushner and bin Salman, Mulvey stressed that “everything is on the table.”
Engel will head the Committee starting early January next year.
Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi crown prince and a US resident, disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Saudi Arabia initially claimed he had left the consulate alive, but weeks later admitted that he was killed inside the diplomatic mission and blamed the death on a group of “rogue” Saudi operatives.
The case has caused controversy for US President Donald Trump’s administration who enjoys close ties with the controversial prince.
Trump has since disregarded any serious measures against Saudi Arabia, openly stating that a rift with the oil-rich kingdom would jeopardize US economic interests and its anti-Iran policy.
Furthermore, Kushner’s ties with Saudi Arabia were also brought into question last week after a New York Times report claimed that the senior White House adviser had became bin Salman’s “most important defender” in the White House.
The report alleged that Kushner had even advised the crown prince on “how to weather the storm” caused by Khashoggi’s assassination.
The news of a probable House investigation into Trump-Saudi relations comes as the Senate has recently pushed to scrutinize Trump’s dealings with the Saudi monarchy, even questioning US contribution in the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
Last week, a bipartisan group of US senators introduced a resolution that formally held bin Salman responsible for the murder of Khashoggi, as well as his role in Saudi atrocities in Yemen.
Moreover, the Republican-controlled Senate had defied Trump’s pro-Saudi policies, a week earlier, by advancing a bipartisan bid to end the country’s support for the war on Yemen amid tensions over Khashoggi’s death.
The motion was approved in a 63 to 37 vote. The exact same measure had, however, failed on the chamber’s floor in March.