Rand Paul: Working With Trump To Reform FISA Process To Make Sure 2016 Abuses Can't Be Repeated

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Sen. Rand Paul spoke Thursday to Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney about special counsel Robert Mueller's statement, saying Mueller's statement that "If We Had Confidence The President Clearly Didn't Commit A Crime, We Would Have Said So" ignores the principle of "innocent until proven guilty."

SEN. RAND PAUL: The thing that shocks me is someone like Mueller, who is supposed to be esteemed and has been around decades, completely fundamentally misunderstands our justice system. The burden on the government is to prove that you're guilty. No one is proved to be innocent. You're presumed to be innocent. He is on television, "We never said, we never concluded the president was innocent." Completely misunderstands our judicial system. You're presumed to be innocent, they have to prove you're guilty. He was not charged. He was not indicted, so he is innocent, so it is really wrong-headed but misunderstands our system for him to go around and say, "If he was innocent we would have said he was innocent." That never happens in our country. Grand juries never issue a bill about innocence. They only either indict you or try to prove you're guilty. You're presumed to be innocent in our country and Mueller completely misunderstands that.



STUART VARNEY: If we go with all the impeachment talk and investigations and subpoenas, and heaven knows what else, am I right in saying the government is essentially stalled, nothing gets done?

RAND PAUL: Yes. I think people are sick and tired of this. People in my hometown who have been watching all this overwrought from the networks, it has become so partisan, so malevolent and hateful to the president. People are sick of watching it to tell you the truth. Can you imagine how sick they will get if we get a year or two of partisan impeachment process? It will be terrible for the country.

STUART VARNEY: I think as you as a libertarian. Justin Amash, is a libertarian, he is saying, yeah, it is in Congress's court, go forward with impeachment, what do you make of that?

RAND PAUL: Libertarians like myself for a long time said the intelligence community has too much power. We're very concerned that the CIA or FBI could be investigating Americans for political purposes. That has long been our complaint. I don't understand a libertarian who would take the investigation and say we should pursue it and impeach the president. It is against everything libertarians are for. We don't like too much power. We don't like the secret FISA court going after Americans. Foreigners are one thing, but we've been very concerned about the FISA court being used against Americans. I've been talking with the president. I spoke with him last night about how do we try to prevent this from happening to the next president or to the Americans at large? I think the president is open to trying to figure out a way, either legislatively or through executive order, we can try to prevent this abuse of power from happening again.

STUART VARNEY: So you're really involved in taking steps to make sure this does not get repeated?

RAND PAUL: Absolutely. I'm a supporter of the president, I'm really a supporter of every American whether you're a Republican donor, Democrat donor, activist politically, you should not be targeted by your government. If this happens, from now on the new normal will be, that administrations will go after their enemies. We've had a problem with that in our country before. That is why we had reforms. Right now this shows me, the whole Trump investigation shows me we need more reforms. It is about trying to control the government. Government, they say power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. We need to limit the power of the government to spy on Americans. The president may do some of this. I'm working with him on ideas, if they want to look at foreign intelligence, look at an American, they have to go to public court, the district court here in New York, in public, say we have probable cause we want to investigate an American. Otherwise, it shouldn't happen. They abused the FISA system which is supposed to be about going after foreign spies, to go after an American campaign. This is a terrible abuse of power and I want to be part of making sure it never happens to anybody again.

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