McCabe: Serious Discussions On Invoking The 25th Amendment Were Held
Just a few days after President Donald Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, the new temporary head of the department, then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, ordered inquiries into the president’s actions.
McCabe, speaking in an interview set to air on CBS’ “60 Minutes” this weekend, said he had serious misgivings about how Comey was fired — and whether it had anything to do with an ongoing Russia investigation. He ordered the FBI to begin obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigations into Trump shortly after the termination happened.
Of highest concern to McCabe, in ordering the investigations into the president’s movements, was that the inquiries themselves not be interfered with down the line, CBS News reported.
.@ScottPelley on what McCabe told @60Minutes: "There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment." pic.twitter.com/iVAyrEV4MF
— Norah O'Donnell?? (@NorahODonnell) February 14, 2019
“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion,” McCabe said. “That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.”
So serious were McCabe and others about determining what the president’s motivations were that he confirmed to Pelley rumors that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had considered wearing a wire during meetings with Trump.
The Justice Department has suggested that these considerations were made in jest, but McCabe said in his interview that they were more serious than previously alluded to.
Wednesday on CBS “This Morning,” Pelley also said that McCabe told him that considerations about invoking the 25th Amendment — which grants the vice president and a majority of cabinet officials powers to remove a sitting president — were being mused over.
“They were counting noses,” Pelley said, per reporting from Mediaite. “Not asking cabinet members whether they would vote for or against removing the president. But they were speculating, this person would be with us. That person would not be, and they were counting noses in that effort.”
McCabe was later fired by Trump days before qualifying for retirement benefits in 2018. Trump was proud of his decision to terminate McCabe, gloating about it on social media shortly after.
Andrew McCabe FIRED, a great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy. Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy. He knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2018
McCabe maintained that his firing was due to efforts aimed at discrediting his work with the FBI, specifically when it came to Russia and the investigations involving the president, according to reporting from CNN.
His being fired “is part of this Administration’s ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation,” McCabe said at the time.