The chairman of a key
"We can't stand here and say, golly, gee whiz, we're disturbed by hundreds of people being sentenced to death after a few minutes in a mass trial," Leahy said. "It shows a dictatorship run amok."
The court in Minya, south of Cairo, on Monday sentenced the Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide,
U.S. Secretary of State
Leahy, who has the leverage to hold the money indefinitely, said he wouldn't release it "until we see convincing evidence the government is committed to the rule of law."
Amy Hawthorne, an Egypt specialist at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, said Leahy had "set a very high bar."
Congress and the Obama administration have been ambivalent about the Egyptian military that overthrew Morsi in July. Though U.S. officials are eager for Egypt to move against the growing terrorist threat in the Sinai Peninsula, in part to protect Israel, they are not convinced that the government will move on a more democratic path, as it has promised.
As the crackdown in Egypt has intensified, congressional support has grown for freezing aid. Lawmakers such as Sens.
Kerry, in an appearance Tuesday at the