Graham: 'Game changer' if Saudis behind journalist's disappearance

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Trump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition The Hill's Morning Report - Impeachment drama will dominate this week MORE (R-S.C.) is calling it a "game changer" if Saudi Arabia was involved in the disappearance of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"I'm hoping that there's a rational explanation, but it seems less and less likely, and if it plays out that the Saudi Arabian government mistreated this man because of his dissident voice in Istanbul, it will be a game changer for me,” Graham told reporters Wednesday on his way to review classified documents related to last week's disappearance of the Saudi journalist.

Khashoggi, a regular opinion contributor to The Washington Post and a critic of Saudi Arabia's leadership, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Turkish police have said that Saudi operatives killed Khashoggi at the consulate, something Saudi officials deny. The Trump administration has pressed the Saudi government for answers.

Earlier Wednesday, Graham promised there would "be hell to pay" if the Saudi government was found responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.

"I think they know what it means," Graham told Hill.TV when asked what he meant by "hell to pay."

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeEleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid Overnight Defense: Pentagon says Syrian oil revenue going to Kurdish forces | GOP chair accuses Dems of using Space Force as leverage in wall fight | Dems drop plans to seek Bolton testimony GOP senator: House Democrats using Space Force as leverage in border wall fight MORE (R-Okla.), who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, agreed with Graham's "hell to pay" pledge saying “he's right because that’s a pretty serious thing ... We don’t even know where [Khashoggi] is now, or if he’s alive or dead.”

— Molly K. Hooper