The five US lawmakers, led by Senator Marco Rubio, said they would use the Atomic Energy Act to block any US-Saudi nuclear agreements if Trump did not cut off talks, Reuters reported.
“The ongoing revelations about the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as certain Saudi actions related to Yemen and Lebanon, have raised further serious concerns about the transparency, accountability and judgment of current decision makers in Saudi Arabia,” the senators wrote.
“We, therefore, request that you suspend any related negotiations for a US-Saudi civil nuclear agreement for the foreseeable future,” said the lawmakers, who included senators Cory Gardner, Rand Paul, Dean Heller and Todd Young.
Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter, which was first reported by NBC News.
Khashoggi, a leading critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, disappeared after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
The death of the Washington Post columnist, a US resident who had American children, sparked global outrage and pitched the world’s top oil exporter into crisis.
The US has called for transparency in the investigation of Khashoggi’s death and revoked the US visas of some Saudis over the incident. Trump has said Prince Mohammed bore ultimate responsibility for what happened to Khashoggi but has also cited Riyadh as a strong ally.