Exclusive — DeSantis: If House Leadership Wanted Answers on FBI Scrutiny of Trump Campaign, ‘We’d Get Them Very Shortly’

Florida U.S. congressman Ron DeSantis speaks during a pre-legislative news conference, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
AP/Steve Cannon

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), a Florida gubernatorial candidate, took his fellow House Republicans to task on Breitbart News Sunday. He spoke of their lack of zeal in pursuit of information on reports of the FBI’s surveillance of the 2016 Trump campaign.

“Here’s the problem: we should have had a lot more people come in already. It just seems like the House is just not aggressive overall. Why didn’t we have Peter Strzok come in? Why didn’t we have Lisa Page?” DeSantis told host and Breitbart News Deputy Political Editor Amanda House when she asked if Congress might call reported Trump campaign “spy” Stefan Halper to testify.

“Why haven’t we had any of these people? We should have had them months and months ago,” DeSantis continued.

DeSantis singled out House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), along with himself, as congressmen making a strong effort to obtain information about Halper and the other scandals surrounding the FBI’s scrutiny of the Trump campaign. He was less impressed, however, with House Republicans as a whole.

“There doesn’t seem to be a lot of zealousness on the part of the House as a whole to really get the answers to some of this stuff–because if we really wanted all this stuff, if the whole body was behind the request to get the documents and get the witnesses, we’d get them very shortly. It’s just we haven’t been willing to hold people in contempt or use our powers in order to engineer compliance,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis had some specific criticism for the House leadership. “If the leadership gets behind some of these requests, if they were to endorse, say, holding [Deputy Attorney General Rod] Rosenstein in contempt unless he produced the documents surrounding Halper and who at the FBI, if anybody, directed him to do what he did, to keep tabs on Trump’s campaign, was he paid — all these different questions, I think we would have a better chance of getting it,” he said.

DeSantis also had a message for fellow members of Congress who are reluctant to push for contempt proceedings and other sanctions: “If you don’t have a sanction for non-compliance, then bureaucracies protect themselves.”

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