The Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrote to the White House on Wednesday to request an investigation into the disappearance of The Washington Post columnist and Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who some suspect was killed upon entering the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey last week.
Citing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, every member of the panel — with the exception of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. — signed the letter. Trump will now be required to at least investigate the disappearance because the lawmakers invoked the legislation, which could lead to sanctions on Saudi Arabia.
"The recent disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi suggests that he could be a victim of a gross violation of internationally recognized human rights, which includes 'torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges and trial, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, and other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, or the security of person,'" the letter reads.
"Therefore, we request that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act with respect to any foreign person responsible for such a violation related to Mr. Khashoggi. Our expectation is that in making your determination you will consider any relevant information, including with respect to the highest ranking officials in the Government of Saudi Arabia."
It has been reported Khashoggi, 59, may have been killed and dismembered by a Saudi hit team because of the critical views he takes of the Saudi government.
He went into a self-imposed exile in the United States following the ascension of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is now next in line to the throne to his father, the 82-year-old King Salman.
Paul called on the White House to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia while an investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance presses on.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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