"Sessions won't un-recuse and Mueller won't clear the President, we're the only ones, which is really the danger ... we have to keep all these seats", Nunes can be heard saying on a recording from a private fundraiser aired by MSNBC on "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Wednesday. Sessions said past year that he would keep his distance from inquiries related to the 2016 election owing to his role in Trump's campaign - a move that has frustrated the president, leading him to blame his own attorney general for the "Russian Witch Hunt Hoax". Well, when you look at what leaders of the Freedom Caucus are doing, when you look at what Nunes is doing, I think we need to stop saying what they're doing is trying to protect Donald Trump, because what they're actually doing is they're protecting Vladimir Putin and covering up more crimes that the United States military and Intel agencies are digging at right now.
Mr Nunes, a California Republican, also chairs the powerful House Intelligence Committee.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., has said he opposes the effort to impeach Rosenstein, but the party's most conservative members in the House have indicated they will push the issue again as soon as September.
Nunes also said that an effort by some hard-line House Republicans to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is on hold because of the election and because an impeachment debate would tie up the Senate and prevent it from quickly confirming Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
"If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away", he said.
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But Nunes said that resistance to Rosenstein's impeachment was mostly about scheduling. "I don't think we should be cavalier with this process or term". But it's a fair question right now. But ultimately let's say the Portuguese came and brought her some stolen emails.
It's also worth noting that Mueller and Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who now oversees the investigation, are both Republicans who were highly respected across the board prior to the start of the investigation.
"It's a matter of timing", Nunes said. "Well, if that's the case, then that's criminal".
"Like sometimes you love the president's tweets, sometimes we cringe on the president's tweets", he said, attempting to discredit Mueller's purported examination of Trump's inflammatory posts as part of his inquiry into possible obstruction of justice. If Trump wants the House Republicans to do this dirty work for him through impeachment, as explained, that can't happen until Kavanaugh is confirmed, for the reasons Nunes gave. Since Jeff Sessions is recused on the matter of the Russian Federation probe, the responsibility of deciding whether or not to fire Mueller, if Trump were to ask for this, falls to Rosenstein.