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

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

In the wake of leaked audio of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) admitting that the House has to keep its Republican majority to block Donald Trump's impeachment, CNN counterintelligence analyst Phil Mudd exploded with criticism of the California Republican.

The committee Nunes heads was tasked with investigating whether anyone from the Trump campaign may have collaborated with Russian attempts to influence the election, but its inquiry quickly became mired in partisan disputes.

Nunes suggested that midterms and the time-table for confirming a new Supreme Court Justice were reasons why the impeachment hadn't happened.

It's also worth noting that Mueller and Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who now oversees the investigation, are both Republicans who were highly respected across the board prior to the start of the investigation.

"Do I support impeachment of Rosenstein?"

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

"So if we actually vote to impeach, OK, what that does is that triggers the Senate then has to take it up", Nunes explained to a questioner on the recording. Nunes said in response to a question from a person attending the fundraiser. "I don't think you're gonna get any argument from most of our colleagues".

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House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., has said he opposes the effort to impeach Rosenstein, but the party's most conservative members in the House have indicated they will push the issue again as soon as September. "The question is the timing of it right before the election".

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". "But ultimately let's say the Portuguese came and brought her some stolen emails, and she made a decision to release those".

He also said that impeaching Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein - which he favors, in theory - would delay the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the portion of his remarks played on MSNBC, Nunes neither compares nor contrasts this scenario with the release in 2016 of private Democratic communications. The same day that Trump publicly urged Russia, "if you're listening", to "find the 30,000 emails that are missing", the indictment revealed, several Russian government hackers began trying to access the email accounts of staffers in Clinton's private office. He called the president's tweets a "mixed bag".

"If [Jeff] Sessions won't un-recuse, and Mueller won't clear the president, we're the only ones", Nunes said, according to the audio.

"This is all political", Nunes said.