Comey sought more Russia probe resources before firing

FBI director James Comey requested more resources to pursue his investigation into Russia's election meddling and the possible involvement of Donald Trump associates, days before he was sacked by the president, United States officials have said.

The revelation has fuelled concerns that Mr Trump was trying to undermine a probe that could threaten his presidency.

The firing of Mr Comey is drawing comparisons with the so-called Saturday Night Massacre of 1973, when President Richard Nixon fired an independent special prosecutor investigating the Watergate break-in and the subsequent cover-up. He also has said that he believes Comey's letter to Congress regrading the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server cost the Democratic nominee the election.

In a bit of provocative timing, the White House announced just hours after Comey's firing that Trump would welcome Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the Oval Office on Wednesday for a closed-door meeting.

Sanders denied the idea that the White House had ordered the Justice Department to come up with reasons to fire Comey, as was reported on Tuesday.

Nonetheless, even before Trump moved to sack Comey, the investigation already being run by the DoJ appeared to be taking steps toward prosecutions. Chuck Schumer, renewed calls for a special prosecutor to be assigned to the Russian Federation investigation as he spoke from the Senate floor Wendesday.

Sean "Spicy Facts" Spicer is a loquacious man when he wants to be, and when he doesn't, well, he hides in bushes to avoid reporters who want to know what the hell is going on in the White House.

Sanders offered few new details about the events that led to Comey's firing, but at one point described Comey's handling of the Clinton emails as an example of the "atrocities" he committed as director.

When President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, his stated justification for doing so - that Comey had mishandled the Hillary Clinton email investigation by essentially being too tough on Clinton - didn't make a whole lot of sense considering, well, everything Trump has ever said about that topic.

While that hearing was going on, Trump twisted Comey's words, falsely tweeting, "The NSA and Federal Bureau of Investigation tell Congress that Russian Federation did not influence electoral process".

"There is a high cloud of illegitimacy hanging over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue that can only be cleaned up with a fair, impartial and independent investigation", said Jefferies (D-Brooklyn), who sits on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

President Trump said the decision to sack Comey had been based on "clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions". But Mr Rosenstein's own role in the firing became increasingly murky on Wednesday. Some Republicans have said that could undermine concurrent investigations underway in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.

Sarah Isgur Flores, the department's top spokeswoman, said reports of him asking for more funds or resources are "totally false". He added, "As the chairman of the Judiciary Committee's Oversight Subcommittee, I have reached out to the Deputy Attorney General for clarity on his rationale for recommending this action".

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