WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin claimed Wednesday that fired FBI director James Comey recently sought additional resources for his investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.
“That’s a fact,” Manchin told reporters during a conference call. “Comey was seeking more assistance. (It came) within the last week to 10 days.”
Manchin’s claim stands at odds with the Department of Justice, which flatly denied reports that Comey sought more staff and funding to probe allegations of Russian interference.
The White House said Wednesday the firing came in the wake of President Trump losing confidence in Comey during recent months.
“He should have fired him then,” Manchin said. “It makes it much more difficult for the administration by waiting until they’re in the throes of knowing now there is an FBI investigation into Russian activity.”
Manchin, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Comey is scheduled to appear before the committee next Tuesday. Manchin and other committee members are calling for a special prosecutor to be appointed to take over the investigation.
“This person would allow report directly to Congress on their investigation and findings. So it would have to be a high-ranking career person. They can’t be in jeopardy of losing their job or (be) fired,” Manchin said.
The White House and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called a special prosecutor unnecessary. Manchin said he believes an appointment would help the public perception of the investigation but the Senate Intelligence will go on with its probe without one.
“It’s not going to impede at all the job we do as Senate Intel,” Manchin said. “I can assure the American public the Senate Intelligence Committee will continue to complete a thorough investigation based on the intelligence we receive and the facts that we have. We will come to the ability to find the truth.”