Recording of Devin Nunes at private McMorris Rodgers fundraiser makes national headlines

Secret recording reveals why Rosenstein hasn’t been impeached – and when he will be

The audio, released by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and recorded at a closed-door California fundraiser, shows Nunes admitting that collusion with a foreign government is a crime before offering a very narrow definition of that crime.

"We have to keep the majority", he adds.

Conservatives who want to impeach Rosenstein accuse him of improperly handling the Russian Federation investigation and not complying with Congressional requests.

Nunes also said that an effort by some hard-line House Republicans to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is on hold because of the election and because an impeachment debate would tie up the Senate and prevent it from quickly confirming Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. We have to keep the majority.

Nunes' office did not immediately return a request for comment today, but his spokesman Jack Langer told The Hill newspaper that "these are sensible ideas".

It seems Nunes is anxious 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. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan introduced a resolution to impeach Rosenstein in an escalation of long-standing tensions.

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REP. NUNES (R-CA): "The Senate would have to start, the Senate would have to drop everything they're doing and start to, and start with impeachment on Rosenstein".

Nunes was "caught" on tape stating the obvious: that Republicans needed to retain their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives to protect President Donald Trump from impeachment.

In the recording, you can hear McMorris Rodgers say, "Also, the Senate has to start".

"We have to keep all those seats".

The series of recordings made public by Maddow do not include every question to which Nunes was responding.

"Now if somebody thinks that my campaign or Cathy's campaign is colluding with the Chinese, or you name the country, hey, could happen, it would be a very bad thing if Cathy was getting secrets from the Portuguese, let's say, just because I'm Portuguese, my family was", Nunes said, using McMorris Rodgers as an example in his hypothetical. Either way, he said, such a power move would have to wait until after Kavanaugh is confirmed by the Senate. Since Jeff Sessions is recused on the matter of the Russian Federation probe, the responsibility of deciding whether or not to fire Mueller, if Trump were to ask for this, falls to Rosenstein. "It's a matter of, it's a matter of timing".

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