On Friday, Saudi authorities acknowledged that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which has been missing since October 2, was killed in a fistfight in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul.
Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich from New Mexico has urged the Trump administration to prevent Saudi Arabia from exporting oil to the US due to the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to The Hill.
“The United States cannot allow this gross human rights violation to go unanswered. I am therefore calling for a ban on oil imports from Saudi Arabia until the highest levels of Saudi government are held accountable for their actions,” Heinrich said.
READ MORE: UK Drafting Saudi Sanctions List in Wake of Khashoggi Disappearance — Reports
In this vein, he also pointed the finger at US President Donald Trump who he claimed “would rather embrace denials and cover-ups rather than hold those responsible accountable.”
“The Saudis clearly believe they can evade real consequences under President Trump’s leadership and we as a country must stand up and prove them wrong,” Heinrich pointed out.
He spoke as US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described Riyadh’s explanation of Khashoggi’s death as a “good first step but not enough”.
READ MORE: US Senators Urge Trump to Explore Sanctions Against Saudi Arabia Over Khashoggi
Mnuchin added that it was too early to consider sanctions against Riyadh over the incident.
“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” he underlined.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia reportedly rejected “any attempts to undermine it whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure” in connection with the situation around Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Saudi authorities admitted that Khashoggi died in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after engaging in a fistfight with men sent to detain him.