Trump Accuses McCabe, Rosenstein of 'Very Illegal' Plan to Oust Him

Posted: Feb 18, 2019 11:00 AM
Trump Accuses McCabe, Rosenstein of 'Very Illegal' Plan to Oust Him

Source: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci

President Trump criticized former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a series of tweets Monday. Trump said it looked like McCabe and Rosenstein “were planning a very illegal act, and got caught.”

McCabe told “60 Minutes” Sunday that Rosenstein “was not joking” when he suggested using a recording device in conversations with President Trump about the firing of former FBI director James Comey. He added that Rosenstein was “counting votes or possible votes” to determine if Cabinet members would oust Trump under the 25th Amendment. 

“Discussion of the 25th Amendment was simply ... Rod [Rosenstein] raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort,” McCabe elaborated.

That comment prompted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to vow to “get to the bottom” of what he believes could have been a “bureaucratic coup.”

"It's stunning to me that one of the chief law enforcement officers of the land, the acting head of the FBI, would go on national television and say 'Oh by the way, I remember a conversation with the deputy attorney general about trying to find if we could replace the president under the 25th amendment,'" Graham told CBS Sunday.

"We're a democracy,” he emphasized. “People enforce the law. They can't take it into their own hands. And was this an attempted bureaucratic coup? I don't know. I don't know who is telling the truth. I know Rosenstein vehemently denied it but we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

A spokesperson for McCabe downplayed his comments about the 25th Amendment last week.

“To clarify, at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions,” she said in a statement. “He was present and participated in a discussion that included a comment by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein regarding the 25th Amendment.”

Former attorney general Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March 2018 due to a determination by the Department of Justice inspector general that he had lied about leaking information to the news media regarding the Clinton investigation and “lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions." McCabe claimed he was targeted due to the Russia probe.

The White House has repeatedly attacked McCabe's credibility while he has been out promoting his memoir “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terrorism and Trump."

McCabe told NPR that the memoir was prompted by his belief that the FBI “has been under a relentless attack in the last two years.” 

"His selfish and destructive agenda drove him to open a completely baseless investigation into the president,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders commented last week. “Andrew McCabe has no credibility and is an embarrassment to the men and women of the FBI and our great country.”