President Donald Trump, rejecting his own intelligence officials' findings, has apparently chosen to believe MBS' claim that he played no role in the gruesome murder of Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi royal family who was killed after entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.
"We can just make a determination ourselves that [Saudi Crown Prince] Mohammed bin Salman ordered these murders and there should be some kind of penalty and repercussions for that".
A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC, introduced legislation Friday that would bar certain arms sales to Riyadh in response to Khashoggi's slaying last October by Saudi operatives, and its role in Yemen's civil war.
After initially denying his death, Saudi Arabia has confirmed that its agents killed him but denied its senior leaders were behind the killing.
Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir said the murder was carried out by Saudi officials "acting outside their scope of authority" and that 11 people have been charged with the crime. "This was not a government-sanctioned operation", he said.
"I call on the administration to immediately comply with the requirements of the law, and to provide Congress with the information required", he said.
The prince's exercise equipment, furniture and other personal belongings have reached Islamabad, while his security team and Saudi media representatives have also arrived in the capital ahead of his visit. On October 10, 2018, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators triggered the terms of the Global Magnitsky Act, requiring the president to investigate and determine if a foreign person is responsible for Khashoggi's death within 120 days.
Four months on, the slain journalist's body has still not been recovered.
US intelligence agencies have concluded that the crown prince at least had knowledge of the plot. Asked about the report Sunday, al-Jubeir declined to comment.
"We have now a number of possibilities and we're asking them what they did with the body, and I think this investigation is ongoing, and I would expect that eventually we will find the truth", he said.