The United States may impose new sanctions against Turkey if the country's government decides not to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, Senator James Lankford said in a Twitter post on Thursday.
"Turkey thinks they’re going to get something from the US in exchange for Andrew Brunson," Lankford wrote in a message on Twitter. "What they’re going to get is sanctions if they don’t release him now."
The United States is considering possible consequences against Turkey if the country does not uphold standards of justice in the trial of American pastor Andrew Brunson, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell said during testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
Mitchell said the State Department is consulting with Congress about "possible measures" to take against Turkey if Brunson is not released, but he did not elaborate.
Brunson has been in a Turkish jail since October 2016 on charges of threatening national security for alleged connections to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen's network which orchestrated a failed military coup.