Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Friday’s Breitbart News Daily to talk about legislation he has introduced to limit special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation to six more months if no firm evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump 2016 campaign is uncovered.
“When the special counsel was appointed, the deputy attorney general who appointed Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, came and briefed the Congress, the House of Representatives, in a closed-door session,” DeSantis recalled. “I asked him in front of the entire House, I said, ‘How did you do this appointing order where you’re citing as a basis for it Comey’s testimony from March, where he talked about the existence of a counterintelligence investigation vis-a-vis Russia, when the Department of Justice regulations require it to be a criminal investigation before you can even do a special counsel?”
“He couldn’t really answer the question, and that’s kind of a basic question,” DeSantis continued. “And so from the very beginning when this special counsel was appointed, there have not been any effective limits to the scope or duration of the investigation. We see that in play with some of the leaks that have come out, focusing on things Manafort may have done three or four years ago, far before the campaign.”
“Look, maybe that needs to be dealt with, maybe he did wrong. I don’t know, but you don’t need a special counsel for that,” he contended. “My amendment sets a limit of only matters since Trump’s campaign started, and then if you don’t have anything six months after enactment, that will have been almost two years of investigating, because Comey was doing the Russia probe before Mueller was superimposed. Comey started in 2016, so this takes us to the spring of 2018.”
“In my view, it has always been that the Russia stuff was more about the media trying to hurt the president, and not that there was really hard facts. But look, if you have hard facts, produce them. If you don’t, the idea that you just keep looking to find anything that you can so you can take out a Manafort, or take out some other tangential figure on unrelated matters – that’s not a good use of our resources, and it diverts our attention on Capitol Hill away from focusing on the core issues that the American people want us to address,” he said.
DeSantis pointed out that “in a normal prosecutor’s office, they do have guidelines about how long you can have investigations before you kind of gotta fish or cut bait.”
“They’re not hard and fast rules in the Department of Justice, but they’re general guidelines,” he clarified. “The thing is, you have all these other cases you’ve got to deal with. You may have 150 cases. You can’t just do one case if it’s not going anywhere, to the exclusion of that, so there’s a natural limitation that just sets in because of the amount of cases you have to do.”
“With the special counsel, that’s not the case. This is all they have, and Mueller has hired, I mean, 14 prosecutors. That’s an extraordinary number of people for this. Were there 14 prosecutors on the O.J. Simpson murder trial, or on Oklahoma City? I don’t think so. Basically, they have every incentive to find something, just keep going until you find something, because they’ve got nowhere else to go and nothing else to do,” he said.
“Is this being done because we want to answer this question about, were there crimes committed by members of a presidential campaign working in cahoots with the Russians, yes or no?” DeSantis asked. “And if there weren’t, then go on.”
“All the stuff we’re hearing are things that really are unrelated to that. To do something on Manafort for things he did in 2013 or ‘14, that is a scalp for the media to hang, but does that really answer the questions that Mueller was put in there for? They don’t really do that at all. That’s the danger of not having an appointing order that has limits on what they’re looking for,” he cautioned.
“Rosenstein did not put limits in there. He was on TV the other day saying ‘We don’t do fishing expeditions at the Department of Justice,’ but his appointing order really invites a fishing expedition. To me, Mueller is fungible, because I think whoever you put in that position, with the appointing order that’s in place they have every incentive to conduct a fishing expedition. That’s just the way these things go,” he said.
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