Key Republican senator will introduce resolution condemning Saudi Crown Prince on Tuesday
(CNN) — Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker plans to offer a measure as soon as Tuesday to rebuke Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the first formal response to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and an implicit rebuke of President Donald Trump’s handling of the killing.
The Senate could vote to approve the measure immediately if all senators give consent and allow it to proceed, aides said.
The resolution is stronger than a non-binding measure and would have to be approved by both chambers before sending to Trump’s desk for his signature, a move that would amount to a direct confrontation over Trump’s efforts to downplay the murder. In a move that has infuriated many in Trump’s own party, the President cast doubt on the CIA’s assessment that bin Salman personally ordered the killing and has instead emphasized the importance of America’s ties to Saudi Arabia. Corker spoke to CNN on Monday about the issue, saying, “I think what you’re finding is a strong sense of outrage if you will in the Senate … as a result of the actions of the crown prince. I would say that I don’t see this going away.”
The measure is just one of several routes the Senate is considering to respond to Saudi Arabia’s actions.
The Senate could vote this week to withdraw US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is also weighing whether to vote on legislation to suspend arms sales with the country and sanction individuals responsible for the murder of Khashoggi — including potentially the crown prince because of his alleged role in ordering the killing.
But Corker and the ranking Democrat, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, are still squabbling over how to structure language in the bill to impose sanctions on the crown prince, the senators told CNN.