FBI Director James Comey takes questions from members of the media during a news conference, Nov. 18, 2014, in Boston.
Photo by Steven Senne/AP

Comey requested more money for Russia scandal probe before firing

There’s a great deal of interest in why Donald Trump chose yesterday to fire FBI Director James Comey. There’s new reporting today that may shed some additional light on the subject.
A senior Congressional official with direct knowledge told NBC News that James Comey briefed Congress in recent days that he had requested more staff and money for the Russia investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Comey’s request, which was first reported by the New York Times, sharpens the questions about whether his firing as FBI director on Tuesday was intended to quash the investigation.
This is an interesting story for a few reasons. For example, the FBI’s counter-espionage investigation began last summer, and if Comey just recently requested additional resources – the New York Times’ report characterized it as a request for a “significant increase” – it suggests the bureau’s up-until-yesterday director was ramping up the probe, not winding it down.

And if the White House was made aware of Comey’s request, it’s likely anxiety in the West Wing over the Russia scandal would’ve intensified as well.

Also note, Comey reportedly made the request for additional resources to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who happens to be the official who wrote the memo embraced by the White House to justify Comey’s dismissal.

Finally, reports on Comey’s request for more money and staff have appeared in a wide variety of major news outlets, including NBC News, which suggests someone sympathetic to Comey is now taking steps to give his White House opponents a new headache.

I wonder what else Comey’s allies might yet share.