The proposed resolution says Prince Mohammed was in control of security forces at the time of Khashoggi's murder and that the Senate has "a high level of confidence" that the prince was complicit in the killing.
But two key senators from Trump's own Republican party said Tuesday that a briefing by the CIA's director had strengthened their conviction that Prince Mohammed directed the murder. Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, is the leading sponsor of the measure.
Panelist and Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, a former colleague of journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was allegedly murdered at the order of the Saudi crown prince, interjected with his perspective.
"In March 2015, Saudi Arabia instituted a naval and aerial blockade on Yemen, and now maintains strict limits on air and sea transit to the country which contribute to delays of critical humanitarian aid and commercial supplies to a nation that imports as much as 90 percent of its food and relies on imported fuel", the resolution reads.
"And we're going to continue to press for answers".
Fellow Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama said: "Now the question is, how do you separate the Saudi crown prince and his group from the nation?" "By extraditing all suspects to Turkey, where Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered, the Saudi Arabian authorities could address those concerns", the official said.
Following a private Central Intelligence Agency briefing on Tuesday, republican senator Lindsey Graham said he had "high confidence" the Saudi leader had a role in the murder and added "you have to be wilfully blind" to disagree. "And at the same time what is protecting USA interests, what is going to counter Shia extremists; what will help bring stability; what will help bring an end to the war in Yemen". "You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi".
He went on to suggest that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis were being "technical" "good soldiers" for the goals of the Trump administration.
President Trump has equivocated about assigning blame for Khashoggi's killing, frustrating lawmakers from both parties. "They have done, I believe, some permanent damage to that standing".
The U.S. has slapped sanctions on Saudis involved in the murder.
"And the second thing is what is in the best interest of the United States and this is a very, very hard challenge because we have to, on one hand, hold them accountable, including the crown prince, for whatever action he may be involved with", the Utah congressman said. The next vote, a motion to proceed with the final vote, could come as soon as Thursday, Senate aides told Foreign Policy. "This guy's nuts", Graham said.
Graham also authored an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal earlier in the day, which argued that bin Salman is a "wrecking ball to US-Saudi relations" whose behavior helps only Iran.