Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Friday that contrary to recent media reports, he wasn’t aware of any request from the FBI for additional resources on its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“I am not aware of any such request. Moreover, I consulted my staff and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and none of them recalls such a request,” Mr. Rosenstein told House members in an all-member briefing, according to prepared remarks released by the Justice Department.
Lawmakers who were in the briefing seized on Mr. Rosenstein’s testimony as proof that some of the reports surrounding the circumstances of FBI Director James B. Comey’s firing weren’t accurate.
“There was a lot of reporting … claiming, wrongfully, that Director Comey had requested additional resources from Mr. Rosenstein with regards to the Russia investigation,” said Rep. Lee Zeldin, New York Republican. “Mr. Rosenstein said that’s not true.”
“He’s asked others at DOJ,” Mr. Zeldin said. “None of the people he spoke to have received that request from Director Comey requesting additional resources for the Russia investigation. I asked him specifically, ‘Is that unclassified?’ He said yes.
“There’s one example of why it’s important to bring everyone together to be able to ask questions and get the facts [because] that story was broken as the first sign, first bit of evidence that had come out trying to connect it to Director Comey’s firing, and turns out that it’s completely untrue,” Mr. Zeldin said.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy likewise told reporters Mr. Rosenstein had no evidence indicating that Mr. Comey asked for more resources.
Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger said he concurred with that general account.
“News isn’t always right,” said Mr. Ruppersberger, Maryland Democrat and a past ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee.
“The facts are the facts,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, unless I see facts otherwise, I have respect [of] his integrity.”