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On Wednesday night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow aired secretly recorded audio of Rep. Devin Nunes speaking candidly to donors at a private fundraiser for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in which he described why the Republicans in Congress want to wait until after Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court before the move to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (Image: Screenshot/TRMS)

Secret Devin Nunes Recording Gives Away Plan to 'Clear the President': Confirm Kavanaugh First, Then Impeach Rod Rosenstein

In response to what Nunes is heard saying on the tapes, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said the comments should be disqualifying for an elected member of Congress.

Jon Queally

After obtaining the secretly-recorded comments made at a private congressional fundraiser last week, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night aired the words of Rep. Devin Nunes, the powerful California Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, as he explained to donors that one of the key reasons the GOP have not yet moved aggressively to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—currently overseeing the probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller—is because they don't want it to gum up the works on getting President Donald Trump's right-wing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh confirmed.

"Under our Constitution, the duty of Congress is not to clear the President... Devin Nunes should resign for perverting the oath he took." —Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)In the series of recordings, as Maddow lays out in detail, Nunes also admits that a U.S. politician running for office who accepts and then releases, "let's say," the stolen emails from a foreign entity, that would be "criminal" activity.

In response to what Nunes is heard saying on the tapes, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) said the comments should be disqualifying for an elected member of Congress.

"Under our Constitution, the duty of Congress is not to clear the President," Lieu tweeted. "The duty of Congress is to be a check and balance on the Executive Branch, and to pursue the facts wherever they may lead. Devin Nunes should resign for perverting the oath he took."

Watch:

Below, directly from TRMS, are the transcripts of the portions aired during Wednesday night's segment:

Clip #1:

REP. NUNES (R-CA): “So therein lies, so it’s like your classic Catch-22 situation where we were at a – this puts us in such a tough spot. If Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones. Which is really the danger. That’s why I keep, and thank you for saying it by the way, 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.”

Clip #2:

REP. NUNES (R-CA): “They know it’s ridiculous to go after the president for obstruction of justice. But if they tell a lie often enough and they put it out there and they say, ‘Oh, we’re looking at the tweets,’ cause you know you’ve got a mixed bag on the tweets, right? Like sometimes you love the president’s tweets, sometimes we cringe on the president’s tweets. But they’re trying to make a political, this is all political as to why that story ran in the New York Times on the tweets.”

Clip #3:

REP. NUNES (R-CA): “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. So Cathy was getting secret information from the Portuguese. You know, may or may not be unusual. 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.”

Clip #4:

AUDIENCE MEMBER: “But also, on things that came up in the House on Rosenstein impeachment thing. And it appears from an outsider that the Republicans were not supported.”

REP. NUNES (R-CA): “Yeah, well, so it’s a bit complicated, right? And I say that because you have to, so we only have so many months left, right? So if we actually vote to impeach, okay, 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. Do you want them to drop everything and not confirm the Supreme Court justice, the new Supreme Court justice? So that’s part of why, I don’t think you have, you’re not getting from, and I’ve said publicly Rosenstein deserves to be impeached. I mean, so, I don’t think you’re gonna get any argument from most of our colleagues. The question is the timing of it right before the election.”

REP. MCMORRIS RODGERS (R-WA): “Also, the Senate has to start –”

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. 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.”


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