By Ashley Parker
WASHINGTON – Last week, then-FBI Director James Comey requested more resources from the Justice Department for his bureau’s investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, according to two officials with knowledge of the discussion.
Comey, who was fired by President Trump on Tuesday, made the request in a meeting last week with Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, and Senate Intelligence Committee members were briefed on the request Monday, the officials said.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said reports that Comey had requested more funding for the Russia investigation are “totally false.” Such a request, she said, “did not happen.”
Rosenstein wrote the memo that was used to justify Trump’s swift and unexpected firing of Comey on Tuesday evening.
The news was first reported by the New York Times.
Asked by reporters Wednesday whether she was briefed by Comey on requests for additional funding for the investigation, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the judiciary committee, said, “I was not. But I understand that there have been additional requests. That’s all I can say.”
It’s unclear where the FBI investigation stands. Comey acknowledged publicly in March that the FBI was looking into possible coordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, and he said the investigation had begun in late July. Comey said that for a counterintelligence probe, “that’s a fairly short period of time.”
Last summer, the FBI obtained a secret court order to monitor the communications of Carter Page, who was an early adviser to the Trump campaign, as part of its investigation. Page has not been accused of any crimes, and it is unclear whether the Justice Department will eventually seek charges against him or others in connection with Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.
Law enforcement officials are also examining contacts between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian officials.
Sean Sullivan and Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.
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