Graham Threatens to Stall Senate if He’s Not Briefed on Khashoggi by CIA

‘I’m talking about any key vote’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., leaves the Old Senate Chamber following the Senate leadership elections in the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday he would start voting against priority items for completing the Senate’s work if he is not properly briefed by the CIA about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The South Carolina Republican said the list could include nominations and the end-of-year spending package.

“I’m talking about any key vote,” Graham said. “Anything that you need me for to get out of town, I ain’t doing it until we hear from the CIA.”

Graham said he was trying to protect the interests of the body and fellow senators who should hear from CIA Director Gina Haspel before making decisions about Saudi Arabia.

Graham is chairman of the State-Foreign Operations subcommittee of Appropriations and his bill is among the remaining fiscal 2019 measures.

The White House sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis to brief them Wednesday, but senators were frustrated to hear the administration decided against having Haspel participate in the closed session.

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