Secret recording highlights Nunes' concern with protecting Trump in Russian Federation probe

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 10, 2018

"If Sessions won't unrecuse and Mueller won't clear the president, we're the only ones, which is really the danger", Nunes said at an event for Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, referring to Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, and Robert Mueller, the special counsel.

"If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away", he said.

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 Russian Federation probe, that Republicans must keep their House majority in the midterm elections to shield Trump from the special counsel investigation.

The recording was released by MSNBC, which said it received it from a person associated with Fuse Washington, a progressive group based in Seattle.

But it was in private, at a closed-door fundraiser for a Republican colleague, that Nunes took the new step of tying the investigation to the midterm elections this fall.

The audio was first released Wednesday night on MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show".

Nunes, who chairs the House intelligence committee, has been targeted by Democrats as he has expanded the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election to include the Obama administration's surveillance of the Trump campaign.

As Nunes sees it, Republicans must also choose their priorities within the limited amount of time they have before the midterms.

Nunes has repeatedly called for the Mueller investigation to come to an end and has criticized FBI officials for not quickly complying with document requests about how the investigation began.

In another snippet, Nunes, one of Rosenstein's most vocal critics, also pointed out the impeachment process was "a bit complicated" because the Senate would have to deal with the fallout. "Well, and you have to decide what you want right now because the Senate only has so much time".

He blamed the Senate's schedule - and the interest in swiftly confirming Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court - for the failure of the House to take up impeachment proceedings against Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.

Nunes spokesman Jack Langer, in a statement Thursday to Fox News, suggested the response to those remarks has been overblown.

"I've said publicly Rosenstein deserves to be impeached".

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