Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the order for Khashoggi's killing came from the highest level of the Saudi government but probably not King Salman, putting the spotlight instead on Salman's heir and de facto ruler Prince Mohammed.
The CIA, meanwhile, is facing growing pressure to brief the full Senate, since Tuesday's briefing comprised only roughly a dozen senators from the party leadership and who sit on key committees.
The decision of the court came after Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office demanded arrests of Saud al Qahtani, a top aide to the Saudi crown prince, and Ahmed al Asiri, former deputy intelligence chief, for their alleged involvement in the killing. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told reporters after the behind-closed-doors briefing.
Trump, as well as Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have downplayed the crown prince's ties to the murder, with Pompeo saying there was no "direct evidence" linking him to Khashoggi's death.
"There's not a smoking gun, there's a smoking saw", Graham told reporters, apparently referring to the bone saw that the Khashoggi assassins brought along when they entrapped, killed, and dismembered him in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
"I'll tell you what I did think: I think when you have a classified Central Intelligence Agency briefing you don't come out of the room and talk about it", Blunt said on Wednesday. "There is no way we're gonna continue to do business with Saudi Arabia as if this never happened".
"I think the secretary of defense and secretary of state are in a bad spot because the president has given this bear hug to MBS and to the entire Saudi regime so they are bound to carry out his weird policy", Murphy said, using an acronym for the crown prince.More news: Windows Lite is Microsoft’s long-awaited answer to Chrome OS
Jamal Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Corker was among the senators who participated in a briefing earlier Tuesday with CIA Director Gina Haspel about the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Graham described the evidence as "a smoking saw".
Saudi Arabia has detained 21 people and says it is seeking the death penalty for five of them. The Saudi coalition faced criticism for indiscriminately bombing civilian targets and infrastructure, though the Trump administration argues the situation would be much worse without US assistance. He said he would "question somebody's judgment if they couldn't figure this out".
"I think they are tired of him being the only person - they can not play anybody else against him - and that is, I think, one of the reasons that made the United States reaction to the murder greater, because now there is only one person to go to, there is only one address in Riyadh, and that is MBS".
Senators, however, were divided as to what steps to take next, following a stinging vote last week to consider a measure cutting off United States military aid to Saudi Arabia's campaign. "This guy's nuts", Graham said.