"If Sessions won't un-recuse and Mueller won't clear the president, we're the only ones, which is really the danger", he says on the recording.
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.
Later, he talks about the midterms and the honest need to keep a Republican majority in both the House and Senate, something Democrats are hoping to clinch. "Devin Nunes should resign for perverting the oath he took". And in that effort, retaining control of Congress is key: "If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away", he's heard saying on the tape, which was secretly recorded by a member of the progressive group Fuse Washington who'd paid $250 to attend the event.
Jack Langer, a spokesman for Nunes, downplayed the comments in a statement to CNN, saying "it's unsurprising to see the left-wing media spin Chairman Nunes' routine observations as some nefarious plot, since these same media outlets spent the a year ago and a half touting non-existent Russian Federation collusion conspiracy".
The fundraiser, which featured Nunes as the headliner, was closed to the press.
Nunes also later talked about the upcoming November midterms and his concerns about keeping the Republican majority in the Senate and the House, all to keep Trump as president. But, for House Republicans, you see a real, I think, conflict between their role as balancing out the executive branch - they are in charge of a separate and equal branch of government - vs. supporting a president whose policy goals they think they can help.
In it, Nunes discusses how House Republicans still want to impeach Rosenstein-despite assurances from the leadership that that wasn't a priority- but are only waiting to do so until after the Senate confirms Trump's Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh. But ultimately let's say the Portuguese came and brought her some stolen emails.
"I've said publicly Rosenstein deserves to be impeached", he said. Okay, now we have a problem, right? "I don't think you're gonna get any argument from most of our colleagues. Well, if that's the case, then that's criminal". He added, "so it's not a matter that any of us like Rosenstein. The question is the timing of it right before the election".
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