McConnell Rejects Calls for an Independent Russia Investigation

“Too much is at stake.”

Bill Clark/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

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.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend