At another point, Nunes suggests that Republicans would more aggressively pursue impeaching Rod Rosenstein, but if they did, "the Senate would have to drop everything they're doing, and then take the risk of not getting Kavanaugh confirmed... it's a matter of time." pic.twitter.com/74s2iK6wK9— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 9, 2018
Newly released audio footage, obtained exclusively by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC, shows the chairman of the Republican House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes explaining Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has not already been impeached because it would jeopardize the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
The top Republican was caught on record by a member of the "Fuse Washington" progressive group, furtively making the remarks during a closed-door fundraiser for Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers on July 30 in Spokane, Washington.
When questioned about why Rosenstein has not already been impeached, Nunes said “it's a bit complicated" because "we only have so many months left.”
“So if we actually vote to impeach, OK, what that does is that triggers ? the Senate then has to take it up,” Nunes can be heard saying in the audio. “Do you want them to drop everything and not confirm the Supreme Court justice, the new Supreme Court justice? The Senate would have to drop everything they’re doing... and start with impeachment on Rosenstein. And then take the risk of not getting Kavanaugh confirmed.”
“So it’s not a matter that any of us like Rosenstein. It’s a matter of, it’s a matter of timing,” he concluded.
Nunes also later talked about the upcoming November midterms and his concerns about keeping the Republican majority in the Senate and the House, all to keep Trump as president.
Here's Devin Nunes describing why House Republicans need to maintain the majority (so they can keep shielding Trump from legal scrutiny).— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) August 9, 2018
"If Sessions won't unrecuse and Mueller won't clear the president, we're the only ones, which is really the danger." -Devin Nunes #Maddow pic.twitter.com/054wuLm9cP
“If Sessions won't un-recuse and Mueller won't clear the president, we're the only ones, which is really the danger,” he said on the recording. “That's why I keep, and thank you for saying it by the way, I mean we have to keep all these seats. We have to keep the majority. If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away.”
It seems Nunes is worried about whether Republicans would be able to make up the majority in the upcoming November elections and the fact that the GOP is the only thing stopping the removal of Donald Trump as president.
Nunes’ remarks came days after House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) rejected plans by the Republican conservatives, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), to remove the deputy attorney general
“Do I support impeachment of Rosenstein? No, I do not,” the speaker said. “I don’t think we should be cavalier with this process or term.”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating Russian meddling interference and the alleged collusion of the Trump campaign in the 2016 presidential election. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation, which is why his second-in-command, deputy attorney general Rosenstein has been put in charge of overseeing the probe.
Nunes also recused himself from the Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian meddling last year.
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