Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin said Wednesday that "a credible conclusion" could be drawn from James Comey's firing by President Donald Trump after the former FBI director asked the Justice Department for more funding for the agency's Russia investigation.
"Absent other evidence, that's a credible conclusion," Durbin, 72, the Illinois Democrat who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN in an interview.
"If you're in the Trump White House and you know that they are looking for collusion by members of the Trump campaign, it's pretty clear that they were in hot pursuit when they are asking for more resources for investigation.
"At that point, he decided the best thing to do is terminate James Comey," Durbin said.
U.S. officials said Wednesday that Comey asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about the additional resources last week.
The FBI former director then told members of Congress involved in various Moscow investigations about the request, the officials said.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores, along with White House deputy spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said that it was false that Comey had asked Rosenstein for money for the Russia investigation.
Durbin, who was first elected to the Senate in 1996, said that Comey still needed to come before Congress to testify in light of the news reports. He has been asked to appear on Tuesday but has not yet responded, the senator said.
"I believe it happened based on that information," Durbin told Blitzer. "If it did, the fact that the decision was made by the White House within days to terminate Comey rather than give him the resources, he needs tells us two things.
"Number one, he was in hot pursuit of some valuable information and just didn't have the resources necessary to reach his goal, and secondly, if we're going to have an investigation by anyone else, the Senate Intelligence Committee or whatever it happens to be, they need the resources.
"They need to make sure it's a thorough investigation."
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