SEVERE WX : Freeze Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Finally, Devin Nunes admits what his charade is all about

In a ...

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 1:28 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2018 1:28 PM

In a secretly recorded tape at a fund-raiser, California Republican Devin Nunes told the truth to a group of Republican donors. Not knowing he was being recorded, Rep. Nunes told the donors that the Republican majority in the House has been and remains the main firewall that has protected President Donald Trump from the fallout that could come from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of whether there were links between the Russians and his campaign and of whether the White House has attempted to obstruct the investigation.

More than the President's Twitter distractions and more than the conservative news media, it has been the Republicans in the House and Senate who have been vital to the survival of this presidency.

Continents and regions

Devin Nunes

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Elections (by type)

Elections and campaigns

Ethics

Europe

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Investigations

Midterm elections

Political donations and fundraising

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Politics

Robert Mueller

Rod Rosenstein

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

Society

US Congress

US federal government

US House of Representatives

US political parties

US Republican Party

White House

Speaking to the donors, Nunes said: "if Sessions won't unrecuse and Mueller won't clear the President, we're the only ones. Which is really the danger ... I mean we have to keep all those seats. We have to keep the majority. If we do not keep the majority, all of this goes away." Nunes' words made clear that the House's investigation has been a charade designed to protect Trump rather than to reveal the truth.

In brazen fashion, Nunes can also be heard talking about the crass political calculations taking place -- especially with regard to the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and whether to attempt impeaching Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed and oversees special counsel Robert Mueller. The recording was aired by MSNBC.

Impeaching Rosenstein, an idea most politicians have agreed is purely a way to shut down Mueller, turns out to be an active project. It is just on hold because of timing, since Nunes recognizes that getting rid of Rosenstein could interfere with the Senate's ability to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. If Republicans keep control of Congress, the move against Rosenstein -- and Mueller's investigation of Trump -- might be coming next.

This is another indication of why the midterm elections will be so important to the next two years of the Trump presidency. This is why Trump has been so active on the campaign trail, although there is growing evidence after Tuesday that his presence at rallies around the country might do more than anything else to hand Democrats both chambers.

As chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Nunes has fought tooth and nail against allowing the lower chamber to conduct a full-throated Watergate-style investigation into what kind of interference occurred in the 2016 election. Besides limiting the scope of the inquiry and shutting down hearings very early on, Nunes also led Republicans in the effort to fight the legitimacy of the investigation itself. It was the infamous Nunes memo that spelled out the allegations of a "Deep State" conspiracy by the FBI to undermine the chances of Trump's victory against Hillary Clinton.

Most important, Nunes has not acted alone. He worked under the auspices of the leaders of the Republican Freedom Caucus, North Carolina's Mark Meadows and Ohio's Jim Jordan, to do everything possible to constrain the scope of the investigation into Trump and to redirect the energy toward questioning the motives and behavior of the investigators themselves. Most Senate Republicans have been equally quiescent, doing very little as they observe the President's constant barrage against the "witch hunt" and outlandish moments such as deciding to go after US intelligence agencies while standing next to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Nunes' comments appear to be an abdication of the constitutional role of Congress, to act as an independent branch of government that conducts oversight and serves as a check and balance. The comments, as well as the stance of a majority of Republicans, stand in stark contrast to the way that North Carolina's Sen. Sam Ervin pursued his congressional investigation during the Watergate scandal.

Nunes and other Republicans have been crucial to helping the President in other ways as well. They have stood by quietly in light of ongoing evidence of corruption and conflict of interest at the top of several executive departments. The contrast with the number of investigations that the Republicans conducted into the Clinton administration, for allegations much more minor than the ones Trump has faced, is revealing.

Even with all the stories about ousted Cabinet officials like Tom Price and Scott Pruitt, congressional Republicans have generally dropped the ball on much of their oversight functions. In an administration which many ethics experts agree has thrown the restrictions on conflict of interest out the window -- as the Trump presidency and Trump business sometimes feel like they are merging into one -- House and Senate Republicans have sat on their hands, watching their television sets and Twitter feed with a cringe, as the swamp keeps getting deeper.

Republicans backed the President during two pivotal moments in his term -- the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the passage of the corporate tax cut, through which the President delivered major victories to core Republican supporters. Those congressional victories have been extremely important in explaining why the President's support remains much stronger within the GOP despite his incredibly provocative and outlandish behavior. These are the victories that the President counts on to bolster Republican turnout in the midterms.

Yes, in private, Congressman Nunes offered some of the most honest words thus far from congressional Republicans on the Hill.

He also made the case better than most as to what is at stake this November. Although the midterms are elections about the composition of Congress, they will do more than anything else to dictate the future of the Trump presidency.

Huntsville
Scattered Clouds
51° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 51°
Florence
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 50°
Fayetteville
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 46°
Decatur
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 50°
Scottsboro
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 50°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 162720

Reported Deaths: 2735
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson24088384
Mobile17166319
Tuscaloosa10641142
Montgomery10576205
Madison961998
Shelby766067
Baldwin688871
Lee666965
Calhoun480663
Marshall450051
Etowah444553
Morgan442835
Houston426535
DeKalb357929
Elmore329258
St. Clair313843
Limestone300333
Walker290293
Talladega277737
Cullman271925
Lauderdale243743
Jackson228218
Autauga214131
Colbert212532
Franklin210732
Blount203925
Russell19993
Chilton192632
Dallas189427
Dale186252
Coffee185111
Covington178729
Escambia176031
Clarke139117
Tallapoosa138587
Chambers138147
Pike137014
Marion111831
Barbour10569
Marengo105322
Butler102041
Geneva9597
Winston95313
Pickens90018
Lawrence89933
Bibb86615
Randolph85316
Hale78330
Cherokee76915
Clay76712
Washington75912
Henry7366
Lowndes72328
Monroe66310
Bullock65117
Crenshaw61630
Fayette60413
Perry6026
Cleburne5819
Conecuh57313
Wilcox57212
Macon55020
Lamar5255
Sumter48721
Choctaw39512
Greene34616
Coosa2193
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 259488

Reported Deaths: 3341
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby37618571
Davidson32908350
Knox1330196
Rutherford12485116
Hamilton12251111
Williamson749657
Sumner6439117
Wilson495064
Putnam463859
Montgomery442861
Out of TN430436
Sullivan410052
Madison392780
Washington387758
Bradley372923
Maury363039
Blount355441
Sevier353423
Robertson270243
Hamblen256950
Tipton250123
Dyer236338
Unassigned23047
Gibson223449
Coffee201428
Hardeman193933
Greene192755
Obion186527
Anderson184816
Bedford180522
Trousdale17949
Dickson179119
Fayette177427
Lawrence173220
McMinn172939
Carter172136
Cumberland169827
Loudon169713
Wayne16237
Jefferson162224
Weakley161926
Monroe153629
Warren152011
Lauderdale150717
Roane14478
Hardin144423
Henderson144326
Macon138425
Franklin135124
Haywood133428
Hawkins128629
Overton126825
White126615
Johnson12118
Marshall120512
Carroll118127
Cocke116716
McNairy116330
Rhea115121
Cheatham112012
Campbell111613
Bledsoe10404
Smith104014
Giles102238
Lake9924
Lincoln9514
Fentress94812
Crockett91722
Henry84512
Hickman84115
Marion82613
DeKalb79018
Chester74416
Decatur68211
Grainger6414
Grundy60013
Union5604
Claiborne5498
Polk53813
Unicoi4865
Jackson4778
Humphreys4694
Lewis4586
Morgan4587
Benton44110
Cannon4362
Houston43117
Clay42216
Scott4165
Sequatchie3702
Stewart35613
Perry3508
Meigs3396
Pickett2879
Moore2862
Van Buren2132
Hancock1273

Community Events