FBI Director James Comey testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 3, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSONJIM WATSON...

Trump fired Comey at key juncture in Russia scandal investigation

We learned yesterday that FBI Director James Comey, just days before his firing, requested more staff and money to better investigate the Russia scandal, suggesting that probe was ramping up, not winding down.

The Rachel Maddow Show, 5/10/17, 9:54 PM ET

Lawmakers asked Comey to speed up Trump-Russia investigation: WSJ

Rachel Maddow shares breaking news from the Wall Street Journal that the Trump-Russia investigation was heating up with Comey concerned about potential evidence of collusion and lawmakers asking for the investigation to be accelerated.
The Wall Street Journal moved the story forward in important ways overnight.
In the weeks before President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, a federal investigation into potential collusion between Trump associates and the Russian government was heating up, as Mr. Comey became increasingly occupied with the probe.

Mr. Comey started receiving daily instead of weekly updates on the investigation, beginning at least three weeks ago, according to people with knowledge of the matter and the progress of the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe. Mr. Comey was concerned by information showing possible evidence of collusion, according to these people.
That’s quite a bombshell, actually. If the reporting is correct, Comey believed the investigation was advancing in important ways – right up until the president, whose campaign is accused of possible collusion with a foreign adversary, decided to fire the FBI chief.

This suggests Comey wasn’t seeking additional resources because he was looking for something, but rather, because he’d found something.

As Rachel noted on the show, the same WSJ report added that Comey “briefed lawmakers on his request to boost the investigation, people familiar with the discussions said. The lawmakers, who have been running their own probe of alleged meddling in the U.S. election by Russia, and possible Trump campaign links with it, asked Mr. Comey if he could accelerate the FBI investigation, said a person with knowledge of the conversations.”

And he apparently would have done just that, had Trump not kicked him out of his office.

Also keep in mind, whenever stories like these emerge, who’s in a position to share the information with reporters and why. In this case, it seems someone at the FBI wants us to know that the investigation the White House doesn’t like has advanced in ways that are likely to intensify Trump’s crisis.

Donald Trump, FBI, James Comey, Russia and White House

Trump fired Comey at key juncture in Russia scandal investigation