Republican leadership is still plotting to impeach Rod Rosenstein.
Trump attack dog Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was caught on tape describing how Republicans plan to use their majority in Congress to impede the Russia investigation and shield Trump from any potential fallout.
The secret recording was captured last week at a private event for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-CA) and obtained by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who aired the audio on her show Wednesday night.
On the leaked tape, Nunes admitted that Republicans are still planning to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, despite backing away from the plot publicly.
"The Senate would have to drop everything they're doing ... and start with impeachment on Rosenstein," he said. "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."
Rep. McMorris Rodgers, who chairs the House Republican Conference, can then be heard chiming in with agreement.
Nunes' explanation suggests Republicans are still planning to oust Rosenstein, and were merely putting on a show recently when they backed away from their own impeachment proposal. And McMorris Rodgers' agreement suggests that the plot has the support of leadership, despite the fact that Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) publicly came out against impeaching Rosenstein.
But even more damning is the portion of the recording in which Nunes flatly admits to impeding the Russia investigation, along with his House GOP colleagues.
“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 crowd. "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 has long been stunningly overt in his machinations to protect Trump. Over a year ago, Nunes was forced to recuse himself from the House Russia investigation after he hatched a plot to discredit the investigation.
Since then, Nunes has continued to attack the investigation on Trump's behalf, including leading the charge that led to the Rosenstein impeachment attempt.
But Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the fourth-highest-ranking Republican in the House. The tape reveals Republican leaders are desperate to end the Mueller case, and lying to the public to get it done.
Caroline Orr also contributed to this post.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.