Rep. Ron DeSantis, who has presented an amendment calling for an end date to special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian involvement in the 2016 election, said Thursday he presented the legislation because lawmakers don't want to fund such "fishing expeditions."
"When Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller, he issued an order that did not identify a crime," the Florida Republican told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program. "He identified a counterintelligence investigation that [former FBI Director James] Comey had been conducting. So you are in a situation where you don't have any limit. You don't have any scope."
And without "obvious evidence" of a crime, a prosecutor such as Mueller will have the incentive to keep the investigation going until something is found, DeSantis contended.
"My amendment basically says, look, this thing needs to be limited to the campaign and Russia and it needs to have an end date," DeSantis said. "If you haven't produced evidence of a crime, after almost two years of investigating, because Comey investigated for a year before Mueller was appointed, then at some point we have to move on with the American people's business."
According to DeSantis' amendment, no money that is made available by the act for Mueller's probe could be used to fund the investigation any later than 180 days after it was enacted.
The amendment also applies to "matters occurring before June 2015," the date President Donald Trump first announced his White House bid.
On Wednesday, Politico reported that Mueller has teamed up with New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman on the investigation into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his financial transactions.
DeSantis said that is troubling, as is the raid on Manafort's house.
"Maybe he did stuff two, three years ago," DeSantis said of Manafort. "The attorney general in New York is an arch enemy of the president. Mueller brought in these prosecutors, many of them were big Democratic contributors and, of course, there has been a lot of leaking in this investigation."
Fox News' Brian Kilmeade commented that Rosenstein "seems to be a gift to Democrats and anti-Trumpers that just want to see this president not be successful," and said he thinks the way the authorization was written to appoint Mueller to conduct his probe "seems criminal."
"I don't think this Russia stuff, I have never seen evidence of a crime," said DeSantis. "But I'm not worried about that. What I'm worried about is that this just drags on and on. Let's find something. Let's find this and then that ends up hindering the ability forever for us to conduct the American people's business because it sucks oxygen out of the room."
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