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Dems ask Deputy AG Rosenstein about Comey's request for more Russia probe funding

Tensions high at FBI
Tensions high at FBI 02:45

Top Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee are asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to divulge details about fired FBI Director James Comey's reported request for additional resources for the FBI's investigation into Russian election meddling.

W.H. on Trump firing Comey 05:00

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the committee's vice chairman, and Jeanne Shaheen, the ranking member of the committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, wrote to Rosenstein Thursday morning, saying they were "surprised by recent press reports" indicating Comey asked Rosenstein for an increase in resources just one week before he he was abruptly fired. Specifically, the Democrats asked for "the details of any request for increased resources made by the FBI to DOJ in order to complete its ongoing investigation into Russian interference in our election process," "information about how this request was communicated," and "any other constraints that might limit the FBI in conducting a thorough investigation."

The two senators wrote that Americans have a right to know "whether and to what extent Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election," adding, "The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should dedicate the needed personnel and resources to the investigation without hesitation."

The Justice Department has flatly denied that Comey met with Rosenstein to ask for more resources. Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday, said the FBI has "adequate resources" for the Russia probe. McCabe did say he would refrain from giving the White House updates on the Russia investigation.

But Democrats -- and even some Republicans -- are pressuring President Trump's administration to divulge more information about the details surrounding Comey's firing. The Democrats' letter comes after House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman and Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz on Wednesday asked DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to expand his ongoing investigation into the DOJ and FBI handling of the Clinton investigation to expand to include the decision to fire Comey.

Democrats -- who had criticized Comey in the past for making public announcements about the Clinton email investigation when he didn't recommend charges -- are now threatening to bring Senate work to a virtual standstill over Comey's firing. Democrats are demanding that a special prosecutor take over the FBI's Russia investigation.

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