Mitch McConnel Declares Russia Probe ‘Case Closed’ As Mueller Testimony Looms
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has declared that the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as “case closed.”
“This investigation went on for two years. It’s finally over,” McConnell is expected to say from the Senate floor later Tuesday morning.
McConnell’s speech comes as Senate Republicans move to end the Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and the 2016 campaign.
McConnell, according to an excerpt of his expected remarks, will slam Democrats, arguing that the country waited to see how lawmakers would respond to the Mueller reports findings.
“With an exhaustive investigation complete, would the country finally unify to confront the real challenges before us? Would we finally be able to move on from partisan paralysis and breathless conspiracy theorizing?” he asked.
“Or would we remain consumed by unhinged partisanship, and keep dividing ourselves to the point that Putin and his agents need only stand on the sidelines and watch as their job is done for them. Regrettably, I think the answer is obvious,” McConnell added.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has offered to let Mueller testify but said it should be limited to a conversation he had with Attorney General William Barr about a four-page memo Barr released summarizing the main conclusions of Mueller’s report. Other GOP senators, including Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.), have questioned the value of having Mueller testify.
Democrats, meanwhile, are clamoring for Mueller to appear before Congress. House Democrats are using their majority to investigate the Trump administration and are locked in a fierce fight with Barr with a contempt vote scheduled in the House Judiciary Committee for Wednesday.
Trump has lashed out over the FBI’s probe, including calling it a “witch hunt” repeatedly over the 22-month long investigation, most recently in a tweet on Monday.
“…..The Witch Hunt is over but we will never forget. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
McConnell’s push for lawmakers to turn the page from the Mueller probe comes as he’s running for reelection in 2020 and has leaned heavily into his work with Trump, primarily on judicial nominations. Several polls have shown McConnell with low poll numbers, including a Morning Consult survey from last month that showed him with a 50 percent disapproval rating.