Two key Republican senators said Tuesday a briefing by Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel had only strengthened their conviction Prince Mohammed was behind the crime - a charge he denies.
A Turkish prosecutor has demanded that arrest warrants be issued against two Saudi nationals close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Turkish source close to the investigation said Wednesday. Supporters of the resolution, like Sen.
Last week, Pompeo claimed there was no definitive evidence that MbS was behind Khashoggi's murder, while Mattis simply said there was "no smoking gun".
Trump ally and fellow Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the "crazy" crown prince was "complicit in the murder of Mr Khashoggi to the highest level possible". Graham has been a particularly harsh critic of the Trump administration's handling of the aftermath of Khashoggi's killing.
"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", Graham told reporters, apparently referring to the bone saw that the Khashoggi assassins brought along when they entrapped, killed, and dismembered him in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
The killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, at Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul, has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with the West and battered the prince's image overseas.
"If we don't stop it now, it gets worse later", Graham said, adding that MBS has been a "wrecking ball" the Middle East.
The bipartisan group of senators also wants the release of blogger Raif Badawi, women's rights activists and other political prisoners detained in Saudi Arabia. His killing sparked worldwide outrage over the kingdom's heavy-handed tactics and renewed attention to the Saudi-led war in Yemen.
Blunt told reporters at the time that the House was unlikley to move on the resolution, and he didn't think a Senate debate on Yemen would be particularly helpful in encouraging the peace process along.
"If someone is saying that Secretary Mattis or Secretary Pompeo were dishonest, they just don't know those individuals", Stewart said.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Bob Corker (R-TN) was also briefed and said, "I have zero question in my mind that the crown prince, MBS, ordered the killing, monitored the killing, knew exactly what was happening, planned it in advance".
President Trump has equivocated about assigning blame for Khashoggi's killing, frustrating lawmakers from both parties.
Corker is confident that the crown prince is culpable in the murder.
The president has touted Saudi arms deals worth billions of dollars to the USA and recently thanked Saudi Arabia for plunging oil prices. "I would really question someone's judgment if they couldn't figure this out".
The United States now provides arms shipments and logistical support including intelligence and targeting assistance to the Saudi-led coalition, which includes the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries.
Some 14 million people face starvation, and recent studies estimate 85,000 children under five have starved to death.
The arrest application filed in Turkish courts asserted there is "strong suspicion" the two aides were involved in planning the killing, officials confirmed to ABC News.