In leaked recording, key House Republican suggests GOP must keep House to protect Trump from Mueller

In a newly leaked audio recording, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republica...

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 6:05 AM
Updated: Aug 10, 2018 6:05 AM

In a newly leaked audio recording, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, a California Republican, suggests that his party needs to retain control of the House of Representatives to protect President Donald Trump from special counsel Robert Mueller.

"If (Attorney General Jeff) Sessions won't un-recuse and Mueller won't clear the President, we're the only ones, which is really the danger ... we have to keep all these seats," Nunes can be heard saying on a recording from a private fundraiser aired by MSNBC on "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Wednesday. "We have to keep the majority."

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The remarks appear to be a blunt assessment from Nunes, a top Trump ally in Congress who Democrats accuse of trying to help the White House with the Russia probe, that Republicans must keep their House majority in the midterm elections to shield Trump from the special counsel investigation.

Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes, downplayed the comments in a statement to CNN, saying "it's unsurprising to see the left-wing media spin Chairman Nunes' routine observations as some nefarious plot, since these same media outlets spent the last year and a half touting non-existent Russia collusion conspiracy."

Maddow said on Wednesday that the audio, which MSNBC described as a "secret audio recording," was obtained by a progressive group called Fuse Washington after one of its members paid to attend a private fundraiser held last week for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a member of House GOP leadership.

The Nunes-led House Intelligence Committee conducted a yearlong investigation of Russia's election interference. The committee's Republicans issued a report that stated they found no evidence of collusion between Trump's team and Russia, but Democrats accused Republicans of failing to interview witnesses and subpoena key documents in the probe in an effort to protect Trump.

Democrats on the committee have continued their own investigation and have made clear they will ramp up the probe again should they retake the House in November.

Nunes: Rosenstein impeachment push could put Supreme Court confirmation at risk

Nunes can also be heard on the recording arguing that any effort to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could interfere with the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement.

"If we actually vote to impeach, what that does is that triggers the Senate then has to take it up," Nunes said on the audio, adding, that the "Senate only has so much time."

Rosenstein, who has overseen the special counsel investigation after Sessions recused himself from the probe, has faced harsh criticism from House conservatives who have accused the Justice Department of withholding key information from Congress and stonewalling congressional subpoenas. In late July, House Freedom Caucus Leaders Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan introduced a resolution to impeach Rosenstein in an escalation of long-standing tensions.

Nunes said he thinks Rosenstein "deserves to be impeached," but noted that "the Senate would have to drop everything they're doing and start to, and start with impeachment on Rosenstein. And then take the risk of not getting Kavanaugh confirmed." He added, "so it's not a matter that any of us like Rosenstein. It's a matter of, it's a matter of timing."

Whip list: Where senators stand on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh

Nunes' comments on the timing of an impeachment fight echo what House Speaker Paul Ryan, who does not support the impeachment push, has publicly said.

Ryan said in July, "if this were to pass through the House, then what it would do is tie the Senate into knots ... That means it would derail or largely delay a big part of our agenda ... and it would clearly dramatically delay the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to go to the Supreme Court," he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 161516

Reported Deaths: 3916
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
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