Washington (CNN)Republican senators reacted with outrage Tuesday after leaving a classified briefing about the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, promising swift action to confront both Saudi Arabia and the White House’s timid response to the killing.
GOP Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are leading the charge to offer new legislation that would rebuke Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as potentially limit US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, saying their push was bolstered by the classified briefing, which detailed intelligence linking the Saudi leader to the murder of the US-based journalist.
“There’s not a smoking gun, there’s a smoking saw,” said Graham, referring to reports that the Saudi team had included a forensic expert who arrived with equipment to dismember Khashoggi’s body.
Referring to the prince, who is known by his initials, Graham said, “You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intrinsically involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi.”
Corker added that the prince “ordered, monitored, the killing” of the father of four.
“If he were in front of a jury, he would be convicted of murder in about 30 minutes,” Corker said.