"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," the senators wrote. This includes "torture or cruel, inhumane, 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 security of person," the lawmakers said.
"We request that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act," the senators wrote. "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."
Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) were signatories of the letter. Corker and Menendez are chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, respectively.
Initial reports have suggested Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and his body disposed of or transported elsewhere afterward, but these reports have yet to be confirmed. As of October 8, the journalist's status remained "missing," according to Sibel Edmonds, reporting from Turkey. According to Edmonds, an FBI whistleblower and publisher of Newsbud, there is more to Khashoggi's past than just being a journalist and columnist, as he also has ties to US intelligence agencies and the bin Laden family.