Law & the Courts

Devin Nunes: GOP Must Keep the House to Protect Trump from Mueller

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes (R., Cali.) briefs reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 24, 2017. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes recently told attendees at a high-dollar fundraiser that Republicans must maintain their majority in the House if they are to shield President Trump from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and the resulting fallout.

“If Sessions won’t unrecuse and Mueller won’t clear the president, we’re the only ones. Which is really the danger,” Nunes said, referring to attorney general Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from all matters related to the 2016 election last year, infuriating the president, who has argued Sessions should have “protected” him.

“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 added, according to an audio recording released by MSNBC on Wednesday.

Nunes, a consummate Trump ally, has emerged as a leading voice in the relentless campaign to undermine the credibility of the special-counsel probe. He was forced to recuse himself from his committee’s investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia after he was accused of mishandling classified information.

The California Republican has repeatedly lashed out at the Department of Justice over its refusal to turn over certain classified documents related to the investigation into allegations of political bias within the FBI. He has also called for the impeachment of deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special-counsel probe in Sessions’s stead.

But Nunes told fundraisers that the impeachment effort is on hold due to legislative time constraints.

“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?” Nunes said in response to a question. “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.”

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