- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Justice Department spokeswoman said it is “totally false” that FBI Director James B. Comey had asked the deputy attorney general for additional resources for the Russia investigation in the days before he was fired.

The New York Times, citing three anonymous sources, reported Wednesday that Mr. Comey had met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and asked for an increase in personnel and funding for the bureau’s ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the November presidential election.

After speaking with Mr. Rosenstein on Wednesday, DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores flatly denied The New York Times report.

She said the last time Mr. Comey and Mr. Rosenstein met was May 1 — two days before Mr. Comey publicly testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On May 4, members of the House Intelligence Committee held a closed-door briefing to question Mr. Comey and NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers about their probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Ms. Flores said one staff member for Mr. Rosenstein and one for Mr. Comey were both present during the May 1 meeting.

She declined to give a readout of the meeting, but said a request for additional resources for the Russia probe was not among the topics covered.

Mr. Rosenstein wrote a memo that the White House released in conjunction with Mr. Comey’s firing that laid out the reasons why the deputy attorney general had lost confidence in the FBI director.

In the letter, dated Tuesday, Mr. Rosenstein blamed Mr. Comey’s handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Though Mr. Rosenstein does not explicitly call for Mr. Comey’s firing in the letter, he concludes that the FBI director’s handling of the email investigation was wrong and as a result “the FBI is unlikely to regain public and congressional trust until it has a director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.”

“Having refused to admit his errors, the director cannot be expected to implement the necessary corrective action,” Mr. Rosenstein wrote.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russia probe, so Mr. Rosenstein is leading the DOJ’s investigation.

• Andrea Noble can be reached at anoble@washingtontimes.com.

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