By REMA RAHMAN and LINDSEY McPHERSON
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told members of the House Friday that he had no evidence former FBI Director James Comey asked for more resources before his firing.
Upon leaving an all-members meeting with Rosenstein Friday, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Rosenstein told members “he has no evidence that Comey asked for additional resources.”
That notion was backed by Rep. Lee Zeldin, who asked Rosenstein if Comey had asked the deputy attorney general for more help with the bureau’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Rosenstein told members his staff and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe were also unaware of such a request.
Rep. Darrell Issa, a member of the House Oversight Committee which is conducting its own probe in to the matter, said he understood the FBI’s investigation would be wide in its scope and include a review of a timeline of Comey’s firing and Rosenstein’s role in that.
The investigation, Issa said, “includes any questions about referrals related to any misconduct, any interference and there were questions well outside the Russian scope.”
In his opening remarks, Rosenstein admitted he played a role in firing Comey in part because of his handling of public statements he made about the agency’s investigations including one about the mishandling of classified information by Hillary Clinton using a private email server while she was secretary of State.
Rosenstein also said he chose what to write in a memo to the president recommending Comey’s dismissal.
“I wrote it. I believe it. I stand by it,” Rosenstein said according to a copy of his opening remarks.
Some Democrats left the meeting disappointed.
Rep. Ruben Gallego said the briefing was “worthless” and that Rosenstein refused to answer a lot of questions, leading to more confusion and frustration among members of Congress.
“This was a useless briefing and did not provide any more information to clarify the motivation of his memo writing,” he said, noting Democrats and Republicans both pushed Rosenstein on that point.
Rep. Raul Grijalva said he was “a little underwhelmed.”
“I felt we should have gotten more information, some direct responses,” the Arizona Democrat said.
Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett agreed that Rosenstein was not forthcoming.
“The most frequently offered answer was, ‘I will not answer that question.’ And anything having to do with his conduct he chose not to answer and to say that even his own conduct was within the purview of director Mueller,” Doggett said.