While President Trump has made clear that he is reluctant to do anything to the Saudis that might imperil the arms trade, senators are warning him that the fate of journalist Jamal Khashoggi really is putting the US-Saudi relationship on the line.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) warned that the burden of proof needs to be on the Saudis to prove that they were not participants in any harm that Khasoggi, a permanent resident of the US, has befallen.
Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) concurred, saying that sanctions should be “at the highest levels” if Khashoggi’s death was found to be the result of the Saudi government.
There are already pushes, led by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to suspend arms sales to the Saudis over Khashoggi’s disappearance. As it becomes increasingly likely that he was killed outright by the Saudis, the push in Congress to punish them will only grow.