Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., took aim at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., over his perceived flip-flops over the standing of James Comey, who President Trump fired as FBI director Tuesday night.
In his speech on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, McConnell hit Schumer and his Democratic colleagues for "complaining" about Comey's removal for "many of the very reasons" they had been complaining about over the past six months, including his decision to weigh in on the Hillary Clinton email situation last July.
"Our Democratic colleagues complaining about the removal of an FBI Director, whom they themselves repeatedly and sharply criticized. That removal being done by a man, Rod Rosenstein, who they repeatedly and effusively praised. When Mr. Rosenstein recommended Mr. Comey's removal for many of the very reasons they consistently complained about. Two investigations are currently ongoing," McConnell said, pointing to reviews by the Senate Intelligence Committee's and the FBI, which Comey revealed last month.
"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, but also to let this body and the national security community develop countermeasures and war-fighting doctrine to see that it doesn't occur again. Partisan calls should not delay the considerable work that Chairman [Richard] Burr and Vice Chairman [Mark] Warner," he said. "Too much is at stake."
The Kentucky Republican also called on Senate Democrats to fairly consider a nominee to head the FBI as they did for Rosenstein's nomination as deputy attorney general. Rosenstein was confirmed in late April by a 94-6 vote — a point McConnell mentioned multiple times.
"That sort of fair consideration should continue when the Senate receives an FBI director nominee," McConnell said, referring to Rosenstein. "Once the Senate receives a nomination to fill this position, we'll look forward to a full, fair and timely confirmation process."