Saudi Arabia’s belated explanation for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi drew deep skepticism Sunday from congressional lawmakers and mounting bipartisan calls for the kingdom — and possibly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally — to face severe repercussions.
Senior Republicans and Democrats proposed sanctions on the longtime U.S. ally, the expulsion of the Saudi ambassador and the cutting of arms sales, among other possible punishments. Lawmakers also said that the United States should refuse to have relations with Mohammed and demand that Saudi Arabia replace him as crown prince if he is found to be responsible — as members of both parties said they believe will happen.
“It’s my thinking that MBS was involved in this, that he directed this and that this person was purposefully murdered,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said Sunday in an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” referring to the crown prince.
Corker —— who chairs the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee —— called for a “collective response” by the United States, Britain, France and Germany if an investigation reveals that the crown prince was behind Khashoggi’s killing inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. [Continue reading…]