WASHINGTON — Amid Democratic calls for a special prosecutor, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says a new investigation of Russia meddling could only serve to impede the current probes under way.
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McConnell spoke on the Senate floor as Democratic senators gathered to try to pressure the GOP over President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Reactions to the decision, amidst the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 elections and possible ties to Trump’s campaign, were split Wednesday morning, with Democrats calling for a special prosecutor as the investigation continues and Republicans torn on Comey’s removal and its timing.
Comey’s top deputy, Andrew McCabe, was named acting director of the bureau late Tuesday. But it’s unclear how quickly Trump will move to find a permanent replacement for the position, which requires Senate approval.
McConnell didn’t give his own view on Trump’s decision to fire Comey. But he noted that Democrats had repeatedly criticized Comey in the past, and had called for his removal.
Following McConnell on the floor, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for a special prosecutor.
But McConnell said: “Today we’ll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation which could only serve to impede the current work being done.”
The Senate and House intelligence committees are investigating Russian meddling in the presidential election and Russian ties to the Trump campaign.
PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.