We reported earlier that the Biden team had made a controversial move to shield Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) from a lawsuit brought regarding the murder of Jamal Kashoggi. Biden had previously claimed that he wanted to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” nation. But then, after Biden attacked our energy industry, he went hat in hand to Saudi Arabia, fist-bumped MBS, and begged for more oil production from OPEC+. As we also reported, Biden sought to have any OPEC+ cut in production postponed so it wouldn’t affect our country until after the election, in a blatant effort to try to save the election for the Democrats. Now, in response to a request from the judge in the lawsuit, the Biden State Department has issued a letter to the DOJ that MBS should be treated as a head of state and as such should have legal immunity.
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
As the Washington Post observed, this was “a protection that even President Donald Trump’s administration didn’t offer.” Imagine how angry they have to be when they say that. Trump, of course, didn’t do that and he also never fist-bumped him either. People on the left had a meltdown over this move by Biden, considering it, not surprisingly, a betrayal of what he had previously said.
The CIA concluded that MBS ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s killing. Not only does immunity here go against @POTUS’s commitment to hold MBS accountable for this heinous crime, it sets a dangerous precedent.
— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) November 18, 2022
I’ve saved some of my precious supply of rage for the Biden administration granting immunity to MBS in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. https://t.co/D2k3lt4zDw
— Eva (@evacide) November 18, 2022
Biden’s team tried to fall back on claiming it was just a legal decision, that this was how they had treated leaders in the past.
Biden State Department spokesman Vedant Patel defends Biden granting immunity to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In 2020, Biden promised to make Saudi Arabia "a pariah." pic.twitter.com/PG5iendTRX
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) November 18, 2022
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked if Biden had been involved in the decision at all. Notice how she ducks the question, falling back on the claim that it’s just a “legal decision.”
CBS's @EdOKeefe: "Was [Biden]…involved in the State Department's decision regarding MBS and this Jamal Khashoggi case? Was he consulted by…anybody…to weigh in?"
KJP: "So…[t]he U.S. consistently has afforded…immunity to heads of govt…U.S. practice…is longstanding" pic.twitter.com/69Vln0Kxe2
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) November 18, 2022
That would seem to be a simple question. So if she wouldn’t respond, can we, therefore, assume the answer was yes? That Biden didn’t want to step on MBS when he was begging him for oil? That’s pretty disgraceful all around.
But there are a couple of other things that I noticed in the letter from the State Department legal advisor to the DOJ Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General.
First, it’s the State Department dictating the move to the DOJ, so that is the administration effectively dictating to the DOJ, which is supposed to be making non-political decisions.
But second, if you look at the timeline, you can see something interesting.
The judge asked the government for their opinion on immunity at the beginning of July. That was right before Biden went to Saudi Arabist to beg for more oil production. The DOJ didn’t have to give an opinion to the Court, they could have just declined to do so. They had until August 1. The DOJ didn’t give a response then but asked for an extension. In the meantime, MBS was made Prime Minister on September 27, three days before the second due date for a DOJ response. Being Prime Minister — head of government — would strengthen the argument for immunity. But then, rather than answering by that second date, the DOJ got another extension to respond until Nov. 17. That’s when we finally got that one-paragraph legal opinion from the State Department.
Here’s a question for reporters to ask Jean-Pierre or Biden: Did you put off the response in which you were going to shield MBS — knowing that it would antagonize people on the left before the election — but now doing it, to help out with the oil situation? If it was the only response you could give, as you now claim which isn’t quite true, why did you need that extension? Couldn’t you just have answered back in September? Why didn’t you do that then? Is this one more thing that the Biden team tried to put off so as not to hurt the Democrats’ chances in the election? Did any of this have to do with the oil negotiations?