US senators vow to push for stronger response | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 06, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 06, 2019

KHASHOGGI MURDER

US senators vow to push for stronger response

Republican and Democratic US senators said on Monday they were frustrated with the Trump administration's failure to provide more information about the murder of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi and vowed to push for a stronger response.

State and Treasury Department officials briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee behind closed doors on Monday evening. Lawmakers said they had learned nothing new.

"It was a complete waste of time. I knew more than they did," Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a close ally of President Donald Trump on many issues, told reporters.

Graham said it was time for more action, but did not elaborate.

Republican Senator Mitt Romney said: "It was not very helpful. And it was frustrating for a number of us to have made so little progress."

Bob Menendez, the committee's ranking Democrat, said new sanctions should be levied, possibly via legislation he co-sponsored with Graham.

The Trump administration missed a February deadline to report to Congress on who was responsible for Khashoggi's death. In Saudi Arabia, 11 suspects have been indicted in the murder, and officials have rejected accusations that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing.

The report was required after lawmakers last year triggered a provision of the 2016 Global Magnitsky human rights act requiring that a Trump administration investigation.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Riyadh government, was killed at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in October.

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