Saudi Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan tells Congress to kick rocks, prompting menacing response

The governor of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Yasir Al-Rumayyan, has once again declined to testify before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. This time, he made it very clear he has no intention to do so.

Al-Rumayyan had previously been asked by Senator Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to testify alongside LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman. Both of them failed to appear back on July 11, citing scheduling conflicts.

Following that occurrence, Sen. Blumenthal had requested the Saudi governor to testify on September 13th or “propose alternative dates by Aug. 18.”

That prompted this response.

Al-Rumayyan’s lawyers sent a letter dated August 4th to Sen. Blumenthal, making a legal argument as to why he will not testify.

The letter cited concerns regarding “sovereignty and international comity” and said the governor was an “inappropriate witness,” according to the Golf Channel.

Interestingly, the PIF attempted to hide behind the same sovereignty issues in an antitrust case in California. Two district court judges tossed dismissed the attempt though.

Sen. Blumenthal has since responded.

“The court based this conclusion, in part, on the fact that U.S. law exempts certain commercial activity from sovereign immunity. The court also stated that ‘typical investor activities’ could not be reasonably considered confidential information that would adversely affect Saudi Arabia, and that any sovereign considerations were diminished by ‘PIF’s intent’ to benefit from the United States market,’” Sen. Blumenthal wrote in his response to Al-Rumayyan’s claims.

Essentially, if Saudi Arabia stands to benefit financially from the deal with the PGA Tour, they cannot hide behind sovereignty claims.

The senator from Connecticut went one step further, alluding to future fire.

“If you continue to refuse to comply voluntarily the subcommittee will be forced to consider other legal methods to compel PIF’s compliance,” the letter to Al-Rumayyan read.

The PGA Tour and the Saudi PIF agreed upon a framework deal in June to create a for-profit organization that combines the DP World Tour and LIV Golf. That prompted the U.S. Congress to open an investigation amidst concerns of sports washing from Saudi Arabia.

This story continues to take twists and turns and only time will tell if the deal with ever materialize.

Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor/Site Manager for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough.