Former top FBI official Andrew McCabe decried the “relentless attack” he said U.S. President Donald Trump has launched against the agency, according to released excerpts of an interview with NPR. Zachary Goelman reports.
Trump responded by attacking McCabe relentlessly.
McCabe was fired last year.
The Department of Justice said he was terminated for lying about his contacts with the press.
“I believe I was fired because I opened a case against the president of the United States.”
After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, McCabe, then deputy director, directed agents to open two new probes into the president: Whether he obstructed justice in firing Comey, and whether he might have done so at the behest of the Kremlin.
“Are you saying that the president is in league with the Russians?”
“I’m saying that the FBI had reason to investigate that.”
But the most inflammatory revelation concerned Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
McCabe said Rosenstein raised the possibility of the cabinet invoking the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove the president from office.
“Rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president.”
“That’s correct. Counting votes. Or possible votes.”
That allegation prompted the president’s allies in Congress to vow to investigate whether Rosenstein was trying to instigate a coup.
U.S. REPUBLICAN SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
“We’re a democracy. People enforce the law, can’t take it into their own hands. And was this an attempted bureaucratic coup? I don’t know. I don’t know who’s telling the truth.”
Rosenstein said his discussions about the 25th Amendment were meant in jest, not part of a plan.