(CNSNews.com) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated on Wednesday he will not heed Democrat calls for an independent commission or special prosecutor to take up the Trump-Russia probe, now that Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey.
Both the Senate intelligence committee and the FBI currently have ongoing investigations, McConnell said in a speech on the Senate floor.
“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 – also to let this body and the national security community develop counter measures and war-fighting doctrine to see that it doesn’t occur again.
“Partisan calls should not delay the considerable work of Chairman Burr and Vice Chairman Warner,” the leaders of the Senate intelligence committee, McConnell added. “Too much is at stake.”
As CNSNews.com has reported, some Democrats are suggesting that Trump fired Comey because the president was “nervous” about where the FBI investigation was going.
But McConnell said some of those same Democrats complained about the way Comey handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails: They complained about Comey, “both at that time and consistently thereafter,” McConnell said.
McConnell quoted some of the criticism leveled at Comey last year by both Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and retired Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.):
“Last year, the current Democratic leader (Schumer) said it (the FBI investigation) appeared to be ‘an appalling act,’ one that he said ‘goes against the tradition of prosecutors at every level of government,’ McConnell quoted.
“And the prior Democratic leader (Reid), when asked if James Comey should resign given his conduct of the investigation, he replied, ‘Of course. Yes.’”
McConnell also noted that Democrats, including Schumer, have praised Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein, who was confirmed just two weeks ago.
Rosenstein is the one who decided Comey should be fired, given his “serious mistakes” in connection with the Clinton email investigation, and Trump went along with that recommendation.
McConnell summed up the situation, saying Democrats are now “complaining about the removal of an FBI director who they themselves repeatedly and sharply criticized; that removal being done by a man, Rob Rosenstein, whom they repeatedly and effusively praised.”
McConnell also noted that Rosenstein recommended Comey’s removal for many of the reasons that Democrats “consistently complained about.”
McConnell, noting that Rosenstein was recently confirmed on a 94-6 vote, said the same sort of “fair consideration” should be given to Trump’s eventual nominee for FBI director:
“We’ll look forward to a full, fair and timely confirmation process.”