Then FBI Director Robert Mueller arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 16, 2012, to testify during a hearing.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

House Republican eyes a deadline for Special Counsel Mueller

In June, when Donald Trump started making public suggestions that he’d try to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, derailing the investigation into the Russia scandal, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) made clear he opposed such a move. “I think the best advice is to let Robert Mueller do his job,” Ryan said at the time.

Politico reports that one of the Speaker’s members has a very different approach in mind.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) is pushing an amendment to severely curtail special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

DeSantis has put forward a provision that would halt funding for Mueller’s probe six months after the amendment’s passage. It also would prohibit Mueller from investigating matters that occurred before June 2015, when Trump launched his presidential campaign.

So, on the one hand, we see some senators taking steps to shield Mueller’s investigation from outside political interference, and on the other hand, we also see a House Republican pushing a measure to impose an arbitrary deadline that would end the probe.

It’s probably best not to exaggerate the significance of DeSantis’ proposal: members will offer hundreds of amendments to the upcoming spending package, and most of them will be ignored. In this case, there’s no reason to believe DeSantis’ amendment will enjoy the support of House Republican leaders or even most of the House GOP conference.

But part of me hopes this gets a floor vote anyway, not because I want to see the special counsel’s probe derailed by Congress, but because I’m curious just how many members of Congress would go along with something like this.

It’d also be interesting to see just how aggressively the White House lobbied lawmakers in advance of such a vote.