A group of Republican and Democrat senators united to demand an investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a consulate in Turkey. This could lead to sanctions against Saudi Arabia within 120 days.
Senators Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), chairman and ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday demanding a probe of Khashoggi’s disappearance under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) October 10, 2018
The law, enacted in 2016, requires the White House to launch an investigation into human rights violations anywhere on the planet if asked by the Senate Foreign Relations committee, with a 120-day deadline to submit a report and decide on imposing sanctions on “foreign person or persons” held responsible for “extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violation of internationally recognized human rights against an individual exercising freedom of expression,” according to the letter.
In making that determination, the senators hope Trump “will consider any relevant information, including with respect to the highest ranking officials in the Government of Saudi Arabia.”
Trump had already signaled he would look into the matter, telling reporters on Wednesday that he would meet with Khashoggi’s fiancee.
“His wife [sic] wrote us a letter. And addressed it to my wife and myself. And we're in contact with her now, and we want to bring her to the White House. It's a very sad situation. It's a very bad situation. And we want do get to the bottom of it,” the US president said.
"We cannot let this happen, to reporters, to anybody," Trump said. Asked if he thought Khashoggi was dead, he answered, “I hope he’s not.”'
Read more: US senators demand Magnitsky Act probe, sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi disappearance