Appropriations Leaders Leahy And Shaheen Formally Seek Information On Director Comey's Reported Request For Russia Probe Funding

May 11, 2017

**After news reports, Leahy and Shaheen send letter to Deputy AG Rosenstein asking for the specifics on FBI Director Comey's reported request for resources and whether this request was communicated to the White House**

**LEAHY, SHAHEEN: "The FBI and the Department of Justice should dedicate the needed personnel and resources to the investigation without hesitation"**

(Washington DC) – After press reports on Wednesday that former FBI Director James Comey requested additional resources for the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election just before he was fired by President Trump, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Subcommittee Ranking Member Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein formally requesting the specifics and circumstances surrounding any such request from Director Comey. The CJS Subcommittee takes the lead on the Appropriations Committee in handling the Senate’s work in writing the annual spending bills for the Justice Department and other agencies.  

The Leahy-Shaheen letter reads, in part:  "The American people have a right to know, for the sake of our national security and sovereignty, whether and to what extent Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential election. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should dedicate the needed personnel and resources to the investigation without hesitation."

Their letter goes on to request "the details of any request for increased resources made by the FBI to DOJ" and "how this request was communicated from the FBI to DOJ, and whether similar requests were made to the White House."  They also ask for information on "any other constraints that might limit the FBI in conducting a thorough investigation."

Their letter can be read in full below:

 

May 11, 2017

The Honorable Rod Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General

U.S. Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20530

 

Dear Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein:

The American people have a right to know, for the sake of our national security and sovereignty, whether and to what extent Russia interfered in the 2016 Presidential election.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) should dedicate the needed personnel and resources to the investigation without hesitation.  As you know, the recently-passed FY 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act provided the FBI $8.767 billion for salaries and expenses which is $277 million more than the FY 2016 enacted level.  In our roles as Vice Chair of Appropriations and Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations, we stand ready to assist should the FBI require additional funding to comprehensively conduct this crucial investigation or to meet any of its core missions. 

To that end, we were surprised by recent press reports indicating that now former FBI Director James Comey asked DOJ just last week for a significant increase in resources for the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.  Given the importance of this investigation, the FBI and the DOJ should spare no expense in getting to the truth.  In order to facilitate the consideration of the Justice Department’s FY 2018 budget request, and to ensure that the investigation has adequate resources, at least 72 hours prior to the Committee’s hearing on the Justice Department’s FY 2018 request, please provide us with:

  • The details of any request for increased resources made by the FBI to DOJ in order to complete its ongoing investigation into Russian interference in our election process, and whether that funding is needed now, in FY 2017, or in FY 2018.
  • Information about how this request was communicated from the FBI to DOJ, and whether similar requests were made to the White House (including the Office of Management and Budget) or any member of Congress, and what the response was to these requests.
  • Any other constraints that might limit the FBI in conducting a thorough investigation.

Thank you in advance for your timely response to these questions. 

 

_________________________                                  _________________________

PATRICK LEAHY                                                                                 JEANNE SHAHEEN

Vice Chairman                                                                                   Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies