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Senators push Trump to launch probe into disappearance of Saudi journalist

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Top foreign policy lawmakers in the Senate on Wednesday enforced a law that requires President Trump to launch an investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and enforce sanctions against any foreign individual found responsible for the matter.

The details: The effort, led by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and top Democrat Bob Menendez, requests an investigation under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act that requires the president to give a report to Congress within 120 days. The senators called the disappearance "a gross violation of internationally recognized human rights."

The backdrop: The Saudi journalist, who also wrote for the Washington Post, has been critical of the Saudi government. He disappeared last week after visiting the country's consulate in Turkey. Turkish investigators reportedly say he was assassinated there.

  • The request, which more than a dozen Democratic and Republican senators signed, could complicate the Trump administration’s relationship with the kingdom. Earlier this year, the State Department approved military arm sales to country worth slightly over $1 billion, and has promised continued support of Saudi Arabia military campaign in Yemen.

Go deeper: Khashoggi disappearance could impact Saudi Arabia's business deals