Lawmaker hopes to limit Russian investigation

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor

Ron DeSantis, a Florida Representative, plans to put a time limit on special counsel Robert
Mueller’s large-scope investigation into the Trump’s campaign ties to Russia. DeSantis, a
conservative Republican, filed legislation that would allow funding for the probe for only 180
days after the measure passes Congress. In a statement released by his office, DeSantis said he’s concerned the Department of Justice investigation being led by the former FBI director is
irresponsibly open-ended.

“The order appointing a special counsel promulgated by Deputy Attorney General (Rod) Rosenstein didn’t identify a crime to be investigated and practically invites a fishing expedition.
Congress should use its spending power to clarify the scope and limit the duration of this investigation. Rosenstein has said that the DOJ doesn’t conduct fishing expeditions; the corollary to this admonition should be that Congress will not fund a fishing expedition.”

His measure was filed as an amendment to a spending bill the House is expected to begin weighing in order to keep the federal government open beyond the end of the fiscal year on
Sept. 30. Before it can go to the floor for a vote it must be endorsed by the House Rules Committee.

The plans to shorten the Mueller probe come weeks after bipartisan bills in the Senate have
been introduced to stop President Trump from being able to fire Mueller. Trump cannot technically fire the special counsel who was appointed through the Justice Department, but he could appoint a new attorney general who could.

Other measures, such as the ones suggested by Senators Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Chris Coons, D-Del., and from Senators Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Cory Booker, D-N.J. respectively, would not allow Mueller’s firing without judicial review. Trump has claimed that he does not plan on firing Mueller but has called the probe a “witch hunt” nonetheless.

Earlier in August, the president said he supports the continuing Russia investigations which
includes those taking place on Capitol Hill. At the same time, multiple panels are investigating
possible collusion between Trump associates and Russians who sought to influence the
presidential election of 2016. Commenting on the length of the investigations, Trump replied by saying “I want them to get on with the task, but I also want the Senate and the House to come out with their findings.”