Former FBI Chief: Law Enforcement Officials Mulled Ousting Trump
Andrew McCabe, a former FBI acting director, says two years ago, top U.S. law enforcement officials considered invoking a constitutional amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office after he fired then-FBI director James Comey.
At the time, Comey was heading the agency's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
McCabe, who himself was later fired from the FBI, told CBS News in an interview that aired Thursday morning that the officials in May 2017 discussed whether to invoke provisions of the 25th Amendment, which allows a vice president and a majority of the 15 Cabinet members to declare a president incapable of handling the duties of the presidency, making the vice president the acting president.
The officials ultimately did not move to oust Trump. But McCabe, then the No. 2 official in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said soon after he discussed Comey's firing with Trump, he ordered the bureau to begin an obstruction of justice investigation of Trump and a counterintelligence probe involving the president and his ties to Russia.
A short time after the McCabe interview, Trump called him "a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country."
Trump also recalled his 2016 election against Democrat Hillary Clinton in a Twitter post.
In the interview, McCabe said he initiated the investigations to make sure they were firmly implanted should he be forced out.
"I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion," McCabe told CBS interviewer Scott Pelley. "That were I removed quickly or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace."
McCabe said he "wanted to make sure that our case was on solid ground, and if somebody came in behind me and closed it and tried to walk away from it, they would not be able to do that without creating a record of why they made that decision."
He confirmed reports from months ago that Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 elections, considered wearing a wire to meetings with Trump to document their conversations.
A Justice Department statement contended that Rosenstein made the offer sarcastically, but McCabe said the suggestion was taken seriously at the time and was discussed more than once.
Last March, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe just short of McCabe's scheduled retirement to deny him full retirement benefits.
Two weeks later, the Justice Department said McCabe was dismissed for authorizing an aide to talk to The Wall Street Journal about the FBI's probe of the charitable foundation headed by Bill and Hillary Clinton, and "lacked candor" in discussing it with Justice officials.
Trump, in his frequent Twitter comments about the Mueller investigation, has often assailed McCabe, lumping him in with disparaging comments about Comey.
After the Justice Department report was issued about the reasons for McCabe's firing, Trump posted this tweet: