A bipartisan group of US senators has introduced a scathing resolution condemning Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman for being “complicit” in the assassination of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Republican senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Todd Young (R-IN) and Democrats Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Chris Coons (D-CT) introduced the non-binding resolution on Wednesday, just one day after they were briefed by CIA Director Gina Haspel on the agency’s conclusions about who was behind the murder.
“This resolution — without equivocation — definitively states that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was complicit in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi and has been a wrecking ball to the region jeopardizing our national security interests on multiple fronts,” said Graham said in a statement.
The resolution directly contradicts statements from Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who have said publicly that there is no definitive evidence or “smoking gun” connecting the Saudi crown prince to Khashoggi’s killing.
The resolution also takes issue with Saudi Arabia’s other actions in the region, such as human rights abuses related to its war in Yemen, the diplomatic and economic blockade against Qatar, and the imprisonment of political dissidents.
This is Congress’s latest challenge to the administration’s over its relationship with MBS and Saudi Arabia. The Senate will vote next week on a bill to end the US’s involvement in the conflict in Yemen, though it’s still unclear it will have enough votes to pass at present.
The Trump administration has placed sanctions on 17 Saudi individuals they deem to have been involved in Khashoggi’s death, but has stopped short of laying blame directly with the crown prince himself.