Measure also calls for Saudi to negotiate directly with Houthi rebels in Yemen
'Senators are to vote on a measure that would hold Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince formally responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
A day after leading members of the Senate claimed Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the journalist’s killing after they were briefed by the head of the CIA, a group of senators from both parties introduced a measure that would hold the 33-year prince accountable.
The resolution – introduced by a group that included Republicans Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, and Democrat Dianne Feinstein - says the Senate believes the crown prince “was in control of security forces” during the killing and “based on evidence and analysis made available to this institution, has a high level of confidence that Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi”.
“I believe it’s vitally important to US national security interests to make a definitive statement about the brutal murder of an American resident – Mr Khashoggi – who has three American citizen children,” Mr Graham said in a statement accompanying Wednesday’s resolution.
The resolution, which also calls for a peace deal to end Saudi’s military bombing operation, is non-binding. However, if is passed it would underscore the difference between many members of the US foreign policy establishment and Donald Trump. It would also force Mr Trump to decide whether or not to veto the measure.
Mr Trump has repeatedly sought to defend the crown prince, denying reports that the CIA had concluded he was behind October’s killing of the 59-year-old journalist at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Last month, the president issued a statement saying the US would remain a steadfast ally of Saudi Arabia, even though the prince “may or may not” have been behind the killing that triggered global outrage.
“I’m not going to tell a country....that has helped me keep oil prices down...I’m not going to destroy our economy by being foolish with Saudi Arabia,” Mr Trump.'
Read more: Senate to vote on resolution holding Saudi crown prince responsible for Khashoggi killing