Mitch McConnell dismisses 'partisan calls' for an independent investigation of President Trump's Russia ties

Mitch McConnell.
(Image credit: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday argued that there is no need for a special prosecutor or an independent commission to investigate President Trump's ties to Russia. On the Senate floor, McConnell said that because there are already ongoing investigations by the Senate and the FBI, adding another investigation would only muddy the waters. "Today we'll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation, which could only serve to impede the current work being done to not only discover what the Russians may have done [but] also to let this body and the national security community develop countermeasures and war-fighting doctrine to see that it doesn't occur again," he said.

McConnell also stood by Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. He shook his head at Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who have responded with outrage to Comey's unexpected ouster Tuesday evening. McConnell noted that Democrats themselves had "repeatedly and sharply criticized" Comey. "Last year the current Democratic leader said it appeared to be an appalling act, one that he said goes against the tradition of prosecutors at every level of government," McConnell said, referring to Schumer's comments about Comey's decision on the Hillary Clinton email investigation weeks before Election Day. "And the prior Democratic leader, when asked if James Comey should resign given his conduct of the investigation, he replied, 'Of course. Yes.'"

McConnell declared that "partisan calls" should not delay the work of the Senate Intelligence Committee because "too much is at stake." While Democrats have overwhelmingly led the call, Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Richard Burr (N.C.), who is leading the Senate's investigation, have also joined the push for an independent investigation.

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