President Obama will decide whether to declassify 28 pages of sealed documents that are rumored to expose Saudi Arabia’s connection to the 9/11 attacks within 60 days, a senator claimed last night.
Former Florida senator Bob Graham said the White House made it clear to him that a decision on the secret files would be made in the next two months.
Graham told Fox News he was ‘pleased that after two years this matter is about to come to a decision by the president’.
The former senator has long campaigned for the documents to be declassified, but both the Bush and Obama administrations have argued doing so was a national security risk.
Graham and other critics believe the files expose Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attacks – something the U.S. government has allegedly sought to keep quiet.
The timing of the release could be highly significant, with the president heading to Saudi Arabia to meet leaders in the region next week.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called for the documents to be released ahead of that summit so Obama could discuss any consequences with the Saudi government.
‘If the president is going to meet with the Saudi Arabian leadership and the royal family, they think it would be appropriate that this document be released before the president makes that trip, so that they can talk about whatever issues are in that document,’ Gillibrand said.
She told CBS’ 60 Minutes that she was unsure how the Saudis would react to the release, but said the family members of 9/11 victims deserved to know what the documents said.
There have long been questions over Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the attacks, which left 2,977 innocent people dead after four passenger airliners were hijacked and crashed into both of the World Trade Center towers in New York, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on September 11, 2001, were Saudi – as was al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a U.S. raid on his lair in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in May 2011.
Bin Laden was the son of a Saudi billionaire with close ties to the kingdom’s royal family.
‘The Saudis know what they did. We know what they did,’ Graham told 60 Minutes.
‘There are a lot of rocks out there that have been purposefully tamped down, that if were they turned over, would give us a more expansive view of the Saudi role.’
Graham added that he believes the terrorists were ‘substantially’ helped by the Saudi Arabian government, financiers and charities.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also called for the 28 pages to be declassified, saying that the refusal to do so was ‘a mistake’ as she added to the Democrats piling pressure on Obama.
‘I have always advocated for providing as much transparency as possible to the American people consistent with protecting our national security,’ she said.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said he did not know whether Obama had looked at the sealed documents himself.
He confirmed the files were being reviewed but mentioned that the 9/11 Commission’s report found no evidence of al-Qaeda being funded by Saudi officials.
This article originally appeared on the Daily Mail.