Finally, Devin Nunes admits what his charade is all about

In a ...

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 1:28 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2018 1:28 PM

In a secretly recorded tape at a fund-raiser, California Republican Devin Nunes told the truth to a group of Republican donors. Not knowing he was being recorded, Rep. Nunes told the donors that the Republican majority in the House has been and remains the main firewall that has protected President Donald Trump from the fallout that could come from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of whether there were links between the Russians and his campaign and of whether the White House has attempted to obstruct the investigation.

More than the President's Twitter distractions and more than the conservative news media, it has been the Republicans in the House and Senate who have been vital to the survival of this presidency.

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Speaking to the donors, Nunes said: "if Sessions won't unrecuse and Mueller won't clear the President, we're the only ones. Which is really the danger ... I mean we have to keep all those seats. We have to keep the majority. If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away." Nunes' words made clear that the House's investigation has been a charade designed to protect Trump rather than to reveal the truth.

In brazen fashion, Nunes can also be heard talking about the crass political calculations taking place -- especially with regard to the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and whether to attempt impeaching Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed and oversees special counsel Robert Mueller. The recording was aired by MSNBC.

Impeaching Rosenstein, an idea most politicians have agreed is purely a way to shut down Mueller, turns out to be an active project. It is just on hold because of timing, since Nunes recognizes that getting rid of Rosenstein could interfere with the Senate's ability to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. If Republicans keep control of Congress, the move against Rosenstein -- and Mueller's investigation of Trump -- might be coming next.

This is another indication of why the midterm elections will be so important to the next two years of the Trump presidency. This is why Trump has been so active on the campaign trail, although there is growing evidence after Tuesday that his presence at rallies around the country might do more than anything else to hand Democrats both chambers.

As chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes has fought tooth and nail against allowing the lower chamber to conduct a full-throated Watergate-style investigation into what kind of interference occurred in the 2016 election. Besides limiting the scope of the inquiry and shutting down hearings very early on, Nunes also led Republicans in the effort to fight the legitimacy of the investigation itself. It was the infamous Nunes memo that spelled out the allegations of a "Deep State" conspiracy by the FBI to undermine the chances of Trump's victory against Hillary Clinton.

Most important, Nunes has not acted alone. He worked under the auspices of the leaders of the Republican Freedom Caucus, North Carolina's Mark Meadows and Ohio's Jim Jordan, to do everything possible to constrain the scope of the investigation into Trump and to redirect the energy toward questioning the motives and behavior of the investigators themselves. Most Senate Republicans have been equally quiescent, doing very little as they observe the President's constant barrage against the "witch hunt" and outlandish moments such as deciding to go after US intelligence agencies while standing next to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Nunes' comments appear to be an abdication of the constitutional role of Congress, to act as an independent branch of government that conducts oversight and serves as a check and balance. The comments, as well as the stance of a majority of Republicans, stand in stark contrast to the way that North Carolina's Sen. Sam Ervin pursued his congressional investigation during the Watergate scandal.

Nunes and other Republicans have been crucial to helping the President in other ways as well. They have stood by quietly in light of ongoing evidence of corruption and conflict of interest at the top of several executive departments. The contrast with the number of investigations that the Republicans conducted into the Clinton administration, for allegations much more minor than the ones Trump has faced, is revealing.

Even with all the stories about ousted Cabinet officials like Tom Price and Scott Pruitt, congressional Republicans have generally dropped the ball on much of their oversight functions. In an administration which many ethics experts agree has thrown the restrictions on conflict of interest out the window -- as the Trump presidency and Trump business sometimes feel like they are merging into one -- House and Senate Republicans have sat on their hands, watching their television sets and Twitter feed with a cringe, as the swamp keeps getting deeper.

Republicans backed the President during two pivotal moments in his term -- the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the passage of the corporate tax cut, through which the President delivered major victories to core Republican supporters. Those congressional victories have been extremely important in explaining why the President's support remains much stronger within the GOP despite his incredibly provocative and outlandish behavior. These are the victories that the President counts on to bolster Republican turnout in the midterms.

Yes, in private, Congressman Nunes offered some of the most honest words thus far from congressional Republicans on the Hill.

He also made the case better than most as to what is at stake this November. Although the midterms are elections about the composition of Congress, they will do more than anything else to dictate the future of the Trump presidency.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 812694

Reported Deaths: 15142
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1139601904
Mobile721751321
Madison51923685
Shelby37240339
Baldwin37044538
Tuscaloosa34902599
Montgomery33919719
Lee23122240
Calhoun22125469
Morgan20620370
Etowah19739496
Marshall18238298
Houston17288405
St. Clair15897337
Cullman15297290
Limestone15178198
Elmore15038284
Lauderdale14125294
Talladega13692271
DeKalb12554258
Walker11069364
Blount10081174
Autauga9883146
Jackson9776177
Coffee9176188
Dale8856180
Colbert8781200
Tallapoosa7032195
Escambia6725127
Covington6672179
Chilton6580160
Russell624758
Franklin5927105
Chambers5558142
Marion4952126
Dallas4854199
Clarke472681
Pike4716105
Geneva4558126
Winston4461101
Lawrence4252117
Bibb421686
Barbour355374
Marengo333989
Monroe329962
Randolph324763
Butler323994
Pickens313581
Henry310565
Hale308787
Cherokee299457
Fayette290579
Washington250851
Cleburne245958
Crenshaw243375
Clay239767
Macon230662
Lamar215446
Conecuh185351
Coosa177738
Lowndes173161
Wilcox167038
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125544
Choctaw86627
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A cold front passing through our area overnight will bring into our area some of the coolest temperatures of the season so far. We will see most of the highs this weekend only in the upper 60s to lower 70s. While overnight lows will drop off down into the 40s Saturday night.
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