Biden Admin Backs Immunity for Saudi Crown Prince in Journalist Killing Lawsuit
“It’s beyond ironic that President Biden has singlehandedly assured MBS can escape accountability when it was President Biden who promised the American people he would do everything to hold him accountable.”
President Joe Biden’s administration backs immunity for Saudia Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in a lawsuit regarding his alleged role in the 2018 murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz and Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), a rights group founded by the journalist, filed the lawsuit against MBS.
American officials even “concluded Saudi Arabia’s crown prince had approved the killing of the widely known and respected journalist, who had written critically of Prince Mohammed’s harsh ways of silencing of those he considered rivals or critics.” The murder happened in Istanbul, Turkey. No one has found the body.
But since MBS is Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler and new prime minister, the administration thinks he should have sovereign immunity.
From The Guardian:
In a filing released on late on Thursday night, the Biden administration said the crown prince’s recent promotion to the role of prime minister meant that he was “the sitting head of government and, accordingly, immune” from the lawsuit.
“The United States government has expressed grave concerns regarding Jamal Khashoggi’s horrific killing and has raised these concerns publicly and with the most senior levels of the Saudi government,” the Department of Justice said in its filing, adding that the US had also imposed financial sanctions and visa restrictions related to the murder.
“However, the doctrine of head of state immunity is well established in customary international law and has been consistently recognized in longstanding executive branch practice as a status-based determination that does not reflect a judgment on the underlying conduct at issue in the litigation,” it said.
The government’s filing included an attached letter from Richard Visek, acting legal adviser to the US state department, instructing the Department of Justice to submit a “suggestion of immunity” to the court.
BREAKING: Biden administration suggests immunity for MBS in DAWN & Cengiz lawsuit for murder of #JamalKhashoggi:
breaking promise for accountability, Biden guarantees MBS impunity. pic.twitter.com/72n3dV53Gx
— Sarah Leah Whitson (@sarahleah1) November 18, 2022
Caving into MBS' immunity ploy — when silence was an option for the administration — not only rewards MBS for his intransigence, including continued attacks on activists in the US — but signals GO to tyrants around the world. Have oil & $? You're safe whatever your crimes.
— Sarah Leah Whitson (@sarahleah1) November 18, 2022
The United States state department has granted immunity to #MBS. It wasn't a decision everyone expected. We thought maybe there would be a light to justice from #USA But again, money came first. This is a world that Jamal doesn’t know about and me..! #justiceforjamal #injustice
— Hatice Cengiz خديجة (@mercan_resifi) November 18, 2022
The State Department “reiterates its unequivocal condemnation of the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi.” It also defended other moves it made:
The Biden administration statement Thursday noted visa restrictions and other penalties that it had meted out to lower-ranking Saudi officials in the death.
“From the earliest days of this Administration, the United States Government has expressed its grave concerns regarding Saudi agents’ responsibility for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder,” the State Department said. Its statement did not mention the crown prince’s own alleged role.
The left and media tried to blame Khashoggi’s murder on former President Donald Trump due to his fake news rhetoric.
When the news came out that the Saudi Arabia government was responsible for the murder, the left and media slammed Trump for not doing anything about it or punishing Saudi Arabia.
Biden, as a presidential candidate, pounced on the murder. He spoke tough on the campaign trail, promising to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah.”
Biden said at the time: “I think it was a flat-out murder. And I think we should have nailed it as that. I publicly said at the time we should treat it that way and there should be consequences relating to how we deal with those — that power.”
Sarah Leah Watson, head of DAWN, stated: “It’s beyond ironic that President Biden has singlehandedly assured MBS can escape accountability when it was President Biden who promised the American people he would do everything to hold him accountable.”
But Biden proved he is like any other politician proving the campaign trail is a bunch of lies and fantasy.
Biden hasn’t done anything against Saudi Arabia. In fact, he enraged human rights groups and the left when he decided against “imposing punishment” on MBS because “there was no precedent for the U.S.to move against the leader of a strategic partner.” Then he fist-bumped MBS at a meeting, smiling and enjoying himself in the crown prince’s company.
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Well, I know what Bret Baier will be discussing tonight.
Biden oil beg is back on! Nothing says leadership like a mental patient on his knees.
I thought they had Kamala for that…..
That’s how d/prog believe ‘accountability’ works; public criticism and lots of chest thumping but in the end no actual consequences. Sorta like the r led hearings into Benghazi or IRS/Lois Lerner.
Or Janet Reno, who “took full responsibility” for the largest mass murder (at that time) of American citizens on American soil.
Another good example. The Waco disaster was eye opening for many people as to how the govt effs up by numbers then the wagons get circled while kubuki hearings that result in little to no consequences are held. Then suddenly there’s a new shiny object and they turn lights off, turn the page and move on.
would be surprised if mbs or any other world leader gives the remotest damn what fjb “thinks” about anything
Oh I think Xi, Putin and Kim Jong Un do.
Trump gave him a pass so that the Saudis owed Trump a favor. Biden got nothing for it.
What jurisdiction was this suit filed in and what actual remedies can it impose against Saudi Nationals?
Takes us back to Obama’s deal with the Iranians that unilaterally overturned counterclaims, which coincided with the second Iraq war and World War Spring series from Tripoli to Kiev.
WAY off topic but interesting. Irregular things found = new election.
I cannot understand why a US court would have any jurisdiction here.
All of the key players are non-US, the murder occurred outside the USA.
It would appear that Turkey and Saudi Arabia would be more appropriate places to litigate the matter.
I’d wager a Turkish court would go “Happened in a Saudi Embassy, not our problem” and the Saudi court would go either “Case dismissed” or “Would you like to visit our Embassy?”
That said, I don’t believe the US court to be a proper venue regarding the actions of Saudi nationals against a Saudi national in a Saudi embassy.
Lawsuit over US assets by family.
28 USC 2502 (a)Citizens or subjects of any foreign government which accords to citizens of the United States the right to prosecute claims against their government in its courts may sue the United States in the United States Court of Federal Claims if the subject matter of the suit is otherwise within such court’s jurisdiction.
U.S. courts typically grant nonresident aliens the right to sue only if the cause of action arose within the United States. A series of recent U.S. Supreme Court cases, however, have determined that non-resident aliens detained by U.S. military forces may bring suit in U.S. federal court.
Please omit the USC reference
And the United States government can grant immunity, and it can make the decision that someone is not entitled to our protection simply because he was permitted into our borders at one point.
I am not on the regime change bandwagon and I am not on the fuck diplomacy muh revolution bandwagon either.
How did that do for us in Iran? Did we get our perfection or did we get the Shah overthrown and get an implacable ideological enemy?
Enough is enough. For once the Biden regime did something right. Saudi Arabia is a market for our goods, and a diplomatic ally with major strategic resources. We do need to stop throwing our own country under the bus on behalf of moral panics.
Please accept my apologies I misread your post quickly and thought you were opposing the grant of immunity.
Another word completely redefined by the progs, apparently.
“In fact, he enraged human rights groups and the left when he decided against “imposing punishment” on MBS because “there was no precedent for the U.S.to move against the leader of a strategic partner.” Then he fist-bumped MBS at a meeting, smiling and enjoying himself in the crown prince’s company.”
Somebody’s 10% cleared.
A broken clock is right two times a day.
Well done Biden; we owe nothing to the family of a Saudi national who was trying to overthrow his government and was killed in Turkey.
I owe nothing to someone on grounds that he wrote some op eds for the Washington Post.
Some important things to consider include our economic and diplomatic interests in the kingdom.
I do not see our imperialism as a positive; how did it turn out when we helped undermine the Shah of Iran?
Traditional imperialists are at least smart enough to wield power in their own interests. Our imperialism is just there to try to be smug and morally superior.
Does anyone believe Islamists would be better for America than the Saudi Monarchy?
Saudi govt, by our standards, violates the human rights of its citizens routinely. So btw does France, infamous for its police and security forces “tuning up” suspects like a 1960’s small town policeman. To this day.
I’m all for touting the good parts of living in America, not so much the concept that foreigners must be remade into clones of us. We lack both the moral and legal standing to do that, and capacity to do that.
Diplomacy is famously defined as the ability to say “nice doggie” whilst reaching for a stick. Our current admin feels the need to repeatedly say ‘bad doggie’ whilst remaining stickless.
It’s no coincidence that enemies no longer hesitate to piss us off by throwing clueless stupid Americans into their gulags, and that past friends like the Saudis don’t feel the need to keep us sweet either. The anti-Trump elites like Biden famously attacked Trump as bad for US diplomacy, they’re silent on how much worse it’s gotten since,
I couldn’t agree more.
It took Bidenhow many months to figure out that beating the Khashoggi drum was a loser ?
Khashoggi knew the Saudi government was out to get him, so when he walked in the Saudi consulate in Turkey, he knew he had a good chance of coming to some harm.