WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he would introduce as soon as Tuesday a joint resolution condemning Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which could force President Donald Trump to decide whether to sign or veto.
Republican Senator Bob Corker said he expected the measure to pass the Senate, noting that its co-sponsors include Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. If it passes the House of Representatives, it would go to the White House for Trump to sign or veto.
Corker said he hoped to introduce the legislation as soon as later Tuesday. “Hopefully, we’ll have a very, very strong vote on a resolution condemning the crown prince,” Corker said.
Aides to Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether the House planned to vote on the measure if it passed the Senate.
Separately, a House aide said that CIA Director Gina Haspel would hold a classified briefing for House leaders and the heads of national security committees on the Khashoggi situation on Wednesday.
Joint congressional resolutions must be signed by the president and have the force of law. The resolution’s content has not been released, so it was not clear whether the joint resolution would prompt any specific punishment against the crown prince or the kingdom, beyond a statement of condemnation.
Corker said it was largely similar to a resolution introduced last week by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and other Republicans and Democrats that condemned Khashoggi’s death and said the Senate “has a high level of confidence” that the Saudi crown prince was complicit in his murder.
Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who was a columnist for the Washington Post, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)