McConnell Rejects Calls for an Independent Russia Investigation

“Too much is at stake.”

Bill Clark/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday defended President Donald Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey and rejected bipartisan calls for an independent investigation into possible collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the 2016 campaign. In the wake of Comey’s firing, more than 100 members of Congress have called for a special prosecutor or an independent commission—similar to the 9/11 commission—to investigate the Russia scandal.

According to McConnell, an independent probe would undermine the investigation into Russian interference in the election currently being conducted by the GOP-led Senate intelligence committee. “Today we’ll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation, which could only serve to impede the current work being done,” McConnell said Wednesday on the Senate floor. 

“Partisan calls should not delay the considerable work of [Senate intelligence committee] chairman [Richard] Burr and vice chairman [Mark] Warner,” McConnell added. “Too much is at stake.”

Warner, a Democrat, certainly agrees that much is at stake—he’s called the intelligence committee probe “the most important thing I’ve ever done.” But Warner said Tuesday that Trump’s firing of Comey “demands the appointment of a Special Counsel.”

Burr, a Republican, also raised concerns about Trump’s actions, saying Tuesday that he’s “troubled by the timing and reasoning of Director Comey’s termination” and that the firing “further confuses an already difficult investigation by the Committee.” Still, he stopped short of calling for an independent investigation.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.