President Donald Trump’s oddly timed decision to fire James Comey from the FBI hasn’t seemed to faze Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he sees no need for a special prosecutor or independent commission to review Russia’s influence in the 2016 election.
"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 allow this body and the intelligence community to develop countermeasures and a war-fighting doctrine to make sure this doesn’t happen again," McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, the day after news broke of Comey’s dismissal.
McConnell implied that calls for another investigation were “partisan,” arguing that Democrats should be in favor of Trump’s decision.
"Democratic colleagues complaining about the removal of an FBI director whom they themselves repeatedly and sharply criticized, that removal being done by a man, Rod Rosenstein, a man they repeatedly and effusively praised,” McConnell continued. “Mr. Rosenstein recommended Mr. Comey’s removal for the very reasons they consistently complained about.”
It’s true that Democrats have long bemoaned Comey’s handling of the Clinton email scandal, and some called for Comey’s dismissal in November. But Democrats have also long been calling for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s connections to the Trump campaign.
But despite McConnell’s claim that investigation calls are “partisan,” several congressional Republicans are now beginning to question the timing and rationale behind Trump’s decision to fire Comey. Some, like Sen. John McCain and Republican Reps. Justin Amash and Barbara Comstock, have gone so far as to make calls for a review of Russia’s interference in the presidential election.
“I have long called for a special congressional committee to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The president’s decision to remove the FBI director only confirms the need and the urgency of such a committee,” McCain said in a statement.
McConnell, however, keeping in line with the administration’s playbook, said he believes that would only slow down the progress already being made.