But two key senators from Trump's own Republican party said Tuesday that a briefing by the CIA's director had strengthened their conviction that Prince Mohammed directed the murder.
Ahmed al-Asiri acted as deputy intelligence chief of Saudi intelligence services, and al-Qahtani a Saudi royal court advisor. Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, another lead sponsor of the legislation, told reporters after the Haspel briefing that he might try to get it passed as an amendment to a must-pass spending bill if the Senate does not pass the war powers resolution.
I understand there are members of Congress who, for political or other reasons, would like to go in a different direction - and they are free to do so.
RICARDO MAZALAN APSaudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was shunned by some leaders at the G20 summit
According to the Istanbul prosecutor, Khashoggi was strangled to death after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get documents for marrying his fiancee, and his body was then dismembered and destroyed. "We categorically reject any accusations purportedly linking the Crown Prince to this horrific incident".
The U.S. has slapped sanctions on Saudis involved in the murder.
Panelist and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, a former colleague of journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was allegedly murdered at the order of the Saudi crown prince, interjected with his perspective. Human rights groups say the war is wreaking havoc on the country and subjecting civilians to indiscriminate bombing.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an ally of President Donald Trump, did not hold back his condemnation of "MbS", as Bin Salman has come to be known in Western media.
At the same time, as stated by Republican Senator Bob Corker, the jury would have found him guilty after a 30-minute hearing. The vote last week allowed the Senate to debate the measure, which could happen as soon as next week, but senators are still in negotiations on whether to amend it and what it should say.
That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi.
President Trump has equivocated about assigning blame for Khashoggi's killing, frustrating lawmakers from both parties.
"We are a coequal branch of government exercising leadership to safeguard the country's long-term interests, values and reputation", wrote Graham, a frequent ally of the president, of the Senate. Following the briefing, a handful of senators said they believe that MBS ordered the hit on Khashoggi. Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event - maybe he did and maybe he didn't!