Those comments were made by California Congressman Devin Nunes who heads the House Intelligence Committee.
He blamed the Senate's schedule - and the interest in swiftly confirming Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court - for the failure of the House to take up impeachment proceedings against Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general. At one point, you could hear Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers chiming in.
The recording was released by MSNBC, which said it received it from a person associated with Fuse Washington, a progressive group based in Seattle.
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.
"The Senate would have to drop everything they're doing. and start with impeachment on Rosenstein".
The Mueller investigation is now looking at the extent of Russian intervention in the 2016 US Presidential election, and whether there was any collusion from the Trump campaign. The congresswoman's office is looking into who made the recording, which took place during a fundraiser at the downtown Spokane Club on July 30.
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Members of McMorris Rodgers' team told KREM 2 that there were no conversations at the private fundraiser of impeachment plans, but rather they were speaking to the process of impeachment.
Democratic lawmakers and pundits quickly condemned the remarks, saying they indicated Nunes was attempting to obstruct justice by suggesting Rosenstein's investigation, headed by special counsel Robert Mueller, should be quashed.
"If [Jeff] Sessions won't un-recuse, and Mueller won't clear the president, we're the only ones", Nunes said, according to the audio. I mean, so, I don't think you're gonna get any argument from most of our colleagues.
"So it's not a matter that any of us like Rosenstein". Yet his travails come at a time when Democrats are on the offensive ahead of the midterm elections, and generic polls show them widely favored to recapture the House of Representatives at the very least. "It's a matter of, it's a matter of timing", he added. "And then take the risk of not getting Kavanaugh confirmed", he said.
"I will fill out the remaining few months of my term to assure that our community maintains its vote in Congress to support President Trump's agenda to create jobs, eliminate regulations, reduce the size of government, address immigration and lower taxes", he said in the statement.