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Rozsa writes: "Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., admitted during a recent Republican political event that the House of Representatives is actually in no rush against impeaching Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein because it wants to rush through confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court first."

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty)
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. (photo: Win McNamee/Getty)

Devin Nunes Caught on Tape: GOP Must First Confirm Brett Kavanaugh to Impeach Rod Rosenstein

By Matthew Rozsa, Salon

09 August 18

Secret tape exposes Republicans’ plan end the Mueller probe after Trump gets his Supreme Court nominee confirmed

ep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., admitted during a recent Republican political event that the House of Representatives is actually in no rush against impeaching Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein because it wants to rush through confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court first.

During a fundraising event for Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers last week, Nunes fielded a question from a member of the attending audience about why the House GOP wasn't pursuing impeachment against Rosenstein. He has been harshly criticized for not shutting down special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal and for allegedly not providing House Republicans with requested materials in a sufficiently timely manner. As Nunes answered the question, a member of the "Fuse Washington" progressive group secretly recorded the exchange and later provided it to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

After explaining that the prospect of impeaching Rosenstein is "a bit complicated" because Republicans "only have so many months left" before the midterm elections, Nunes told the questioner that "if we actually vote to impeach, OK, what that does is that triggers the Senate then has to take it up. Well, and you have to decide what you want right now because the Senate only has so much time."

Nunes added, "Do you want them to drop everything and not confirm the Supreme Court justice, the new Supreme Court justice?"

"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. So it's not a matter that any of us like Rosenstein. It's a matter of, it's a matter of timing."

Nunes insisted to the audience that he hadn't given up his credentials as one of Trump's staunchest defenders, telling the audience that "I've said publicly Rosenstein deserves to be impeached" but that "the question is the timing of it right before the election."

Perhaps most notably, Nunes abandoned all pretense of being impartial in how he conducted the hearings and bluntly told the audience that their priority had to be keeping Republicans in control of the House of Representatives so they could protect Trump if it turns out he broke the law.

"If Sessions won't unrecuse and Mueller won't clear the president, we're the only ones. Which is really the danger," Nunes told the audience according to the audio. "I mean we have to keep all these seats. We have to keep the majority. If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away."

Nunes even admitted that, despite recent claims to the contrary by Trump's legal team, it would indeed be a crime if it turned out that Trump had colluded with a foreign power in order to win the presidential election.

"But ultimately let's say the Portuguese came and brought her some stolen emails. And she decided to release those. Okay, now we have a problem, right? Because somebody stole the emails, gave 'em to Cathy, Cathy released 'em. Well, if that's the case, then that's criminal," Nunes told the Republican audience.

Nunes' story that this was done so that energy could be focused on confirming Kavanaugh checks out with other recent actions by congressional Republicans, such as ignoring the fact that the National Archives will not be able to provide complete records about Kavanaugh's work with President George W. Bush before the midterm elections. Republicans are still planning on rushing through Kavanaugh's confirmation before the midterm elections despite now being forced to do so with incomplete information.

Nunes has found himself at the center of controversy for his actions on President Trump's behalf through his role as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Last year, after Trump falsely claimed in a tweet that Trump Tower had been wiretapped by former President Barack Obama, Nunes cooked up a scheme in which he said he had been informed about former National Security Adviser Susan Rice "unmasking" members of the Trump administration who were under surveillance. Later, he egged on accusations that there was a secret memorandum which could exonerate Trump and discredit the Mueller probe, but after the memo was released, it proved to be a non-event.

In terms of the latest matter that Nunes is trying to spin to the GOP's advantage: Last month Speaker of the House Paul Ryan shot down efforts to impeach Rosenstein, a decision that was unpopular among conservative Republicans but which at the time mainstream Republicans depicted as politically necessary. At the time, observers also noted that Kavanaugh has expressed opinions suggesting that he doesn't think a sitting president can be indicted, which would work to Trump's advantage if the Mueller probe finds that he engaged in criminal activity.

Nunes has previously gotten in trouble for a previous occasion when he was secretly recorded admitting that he viewed his job as House Intelligence Committee chairman as one of carrying Trump's water rather than finding the truth. During a Tulare County Lincoln Dinner in April 2017, Nunes was secretly recorded telling Republicans that "the Democrats don’t want an investigation on Russia. They want an independent commission. Why do they want an independent commission? Because they want to continue the narrative that Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump are best friends, and that’s the reason that he won, because Hillary Clinton would have never lost on her own; it had to be someone else’s fault."

He also tried to spin away the fact that he had been forced to temporarily step aside as chairman of the investigation due to the controversy over his role in trying to support Trump's hoax about having been wiretapped by Obama.

"They have tried to destroy this Russia investigation, they’ve never been serious about it, and one of the great things now that I’ve stepped aside from this Russia investigation, I can actually say what I want to say. I know that there’s probably media in here, you can write it but just try to get it right when you do," Nunes said, in effect characterizing his stepping aside as a personal choice rather than one forced on him. your social media marketing partner


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+21 # Michaeljohn 2018-08-09 14:16
Everyone already knew Nunes is a slimeball.
+13 # wrknight 2018-08-09 17:10
Hopefully the voters in his district finally realize that.
+4 # Jim Rocket 2018-08-09 15:20
The agenda really is to reduce democracy and Kavanagh is a radical anti-democracy activist. Would a radical left-wing judge make it to the SCOTUS?

In case you missed Bill Maher last Friday here's Prof. MacLean:
+2 # banichi 2018-08-09 15:36
Nothing new about this, it has been going on for decades. Remember Newt Gingrich? It is all about a struggle for what power the legislative branch has and doesn't want to lose to the "opposing" party. Use whatever means you have or can manufacture to take and hold power.

Both parties do it, the Republicans are just more blatant about it.
-24 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-08-09 15:48
I don't see anything wrong with his reasonsing. He's very honest about republican priorities. Obviously Kavanaugh comes frist since the republican may lose their majority in the senate after the Nov. election. If they lose, there will be no Kavanaugh. And republicans don't really have the votes right now to impeach Rosenstein.

Nunes has been right all along on Russiagate. There was a real rat's nest of corrupt people in the FBI, CIA, DOJ, and NSA who were running rogue. They wanted to control the 2016 election. The surprising defeat of Hillary exposed their dirty dealings and now they are trying to cover up their crimes. Rosenstein is the chief "cleaner." He wants to keep the lid on the scandal. But it is coming out anyway and someday Rosenstein will be fired as he deserves. Crimes were committed and too many people know.
+2 # BetaTheta 2018-08-09 21:33
Nunes and his ilk don't give a rat's ass about Russia. All they are interested in is preserving their own power and that of the "president" on whose coattails they ride.
+4 # ericlipps 2018-08-09 21:49
Ah, yes. We know there were "corrupt people" in the FBI etc. because Hillary Clinton wasn't led away in chains, right? And only evil deep-state conspirators could possibly see any signs of wrongdoing by our glorious Leader.

But you're right about one thing:
'Crimes were committed and too many people know." It's just that you've got the actual crimes mixed up.
+2 # futhark 2018-08-10 02:51
Has Rep. Nunes taken the trouble to read what the Constitution says about the judicial appointment process? The House of Representatives plays no role whatsoever in it. The Senate is the legislative branch empowered to confirm the appointment of judicial nominees. Sheesh!

Article II, Section 2, Clause 2
"... and [the President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States,..."
-7 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-08-10 06:41
I don't see how an author can still write something like this that is so thoroughly proven to be false:

"Last year, after Trump falsely claimed in a tweet that Trump Tower had been wiretapped by former President Barack Obama, Nunes cooked up a scheme in which he said he had been informed about former National Security Adviser Susan Rice "unmasking" members of the Trump administration who were under surveillance."

We now know from the FISA warrant that the FBI and NSA has all of Trump's campaign under surveillance. Maybe "wire tapped" is an old -fashioned word, but the intelligence agencies were intercepting every communication of Trump and his staff.

The Strzok texts show that Obama was informed about everything.

Part of the proof of this is the case of Michael Flynn. When the claims came out that he'd spoken to the Russian ambassador, Sally Yates of the DOJ said openly she had tapes and transcripts of all his phone calls. When Peter Strzok interviewed Flynn, he asked him questions that were derived from transcript of his phone conversations. Flynn's "lie" was that he said something different to Strzok from what his phone call said.

The problem with authors like this one is that they are so partisan that they will never consider the true evidence produced by someone like Nunes. They adhere to the old lies as if they were a religion. This is not journalism. It is advocacy.
+1 # dascher 2018-08-10 09:25
Interesting. The "Deep State" intelligence agencies couldn't stop Trump from getting elected but they can control "everythng"? Trump must really be some kind of genius.

You supply an excellent analysis of why Trump only appoints clowns, fools, idiots, and crooks to his cabinet and WH posts. They are too unpredictable for the Deep State to be able to control... except they are also SO stupid that they keep falling over their own untied shoelaces.

The Russians may or may not have worked with the Trump campaign (probably not with Trump directly as he is too unreliably to keep his mouth shut), and that, if true, is sufficient for criminal prosecution as foreign agents are forbidden to interfere in US elections and a person who conspires with them to do so is criminally liable.

I suspect that there was some minimal help given to the trumpists, that it made little or no difference in the election results (shouldn't have given how terrible a person and campaigner Trump was), that Dumb Donnie Jr. told Dad about it - and by not reporting that to the authorities, Trump compromised himself legally. Nearly impossible to get a conviction (Trump did learn something fromm Roy Cohn and John Gotti).

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