In a secret recording from a fundraiser last week obtained by NBC News, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) says the impeachment effort of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was halted because congressional Republicans want to wait until Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed. On the recording, an audience member at a fundraiser for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) asks Nunes about the impeachment effort, saying that from an “outsider’s” perspective Rosenstein’s impeachment was seemingly not supported by the majority of the GOP. Nunes replies that it was “complicated,” saying the issue was timing. “The Senate would have to drop everything they’re doing… and start with impeachment on Rosenstein. And then take the risk of not getting Kavanaugh confirmed,” Nunes says. “So it’s not a matter that any of us like Rosenstein. It’s a matter of, it’s a matter of timing.” Nunes is also heard calling the stealing and disseminating of emails “criminal.” He describes a situation not unlike the the one that played out in the 2016 election with Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks—both of which have been revealed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s office as Russian fronts that hacked the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Nunes also stresses the need for the GOP to retain the majority in Congress, saying that unless Attorney General Jeff Sessions un-recuses himself or Mueller “clear[s] the president,” Congressional Republicans will be “the only ones” protecting the president from the Russia investigation.
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