Senate International Relations Committee leaders Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Bob Menendez, D-N.J., despatched a letter to President Donald Trump demanding he deal with whether or not Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The letter, despatched Tuesday night, got here hours after Trump declared in an announcement full of exclamation factors that the U.S. would stand with Saudi Arabia as a vital financial and nationwide safety ally, regardless of the dominion’s admission that Khashoggi had been killed contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

“In gentle of current developments,” Corker and Menendez wrote within the letter, “we request that your dedication particularly deal with whether or not Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman is liable for Mr. Khashoggi’s homicide.”

Whereas a number of shops reported that the CIA concluded with excessive confidence that the crown prince was immediately concerned within the resolution to kill Khashoggi, Trump himself forged doubt in his assertion: “Possibly he did and possibly he did not!”

Sending the letter itself triggers an investigation beneath the International Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which was signed into regulation through the Obama administration in 2012. Corker and Menendez word within the letter that if the president receives the request, he’s required to “decide whether or not a overseas individual is liable for an extrajudicial killing, torture, or different gross violation of internationally acknowledged human rights towards a person exercising freedom of expression” inside 120 days.

The White Home didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Corker, the committee chairman, and rating member Menendez had already sparked a Magnitsky investigation on Oct. 10 concerning the dying of Khashoggi, a Washington Publish columnist and critic of the Saudi royal household.

That letter required Trump to resolve on sanctions with “respect to any overseas individual accountable” for Khashoggi’s then-disappearance. A bipartisan group of senators, together with South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, Democrat Chris Murphy of Connecticut and Florida Republican Marco Rubio, co-signed the letter.

The Trump administration final week did announce sanctions on 17 individuals allegedly concerned in Khashoggi’s slaying, together with the overseer of the Saudi consulate the place Khashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered, in line with reviews citing Turkish officers.

Saudi prosecutors mentioned they might search the dying penalty for 5 people allegedly concerned within the killing.

However Trump launched a bellicose assertion Tuesday asserting that whereas the world “could by no means know all the info surrounding” Khashoggi’s homicide, “our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

The assertion asserted that an “America First” worldview required the preservation of the sturdy U.S.-Saudi alliance cultivated through the Trump administration. He highlighted Saudi Arabia’s function as an ally in Washington’s more and more hostile stance towards Iran, and as a accomplice within the combat towards international terrorism.

Trump has been much more vocally supportive of the dominion within the wake of his resolution on Khashoggi. In a tweet Wednesday morning, he thanked Saudi Arabia for current declines in oil costs, including “Let’s go decrease!”

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