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Andrew McCabe says DOJ discussed removing Trump via 25th Amendment

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Andrew McCabe, former deputy director of the FBI, in an interview with “60 Minutes” said there were discussions within the Justice Department on whether the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution should be invoked to remove President Donald Trump from office.

Discussing his interview with McCabe, which is set to air on Sunday, CBS anchor Scott Pelley on Thursday’s edition of “CBS This Morning” said McCabe told him, “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.”

Read more: Rod Rosenstein reportedly discussed invoking the 25th Amendment and wearing a wire to record his conversations with Trump

“These were the eight days from Comey’s firing to the point that Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. And the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what do with the president,” Pelley added.

The 25th Amendment offers a pathway to remove the president from office if he’s unable to “discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

If the 25th Amendment is invoked, the vice president becomes the acting president. But first the vice president and a majority of sitting Cabinet members must write a letter to the president pro tempore of the Senate (currently GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley) and the House Speaker (currently Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi), informing them that the president isn’t fit to carry out his duties.

Two-thirds of both chambers of Congress would be given a three week period to vote on whether the vice president should remain in power. If a vote does not occur within this allotted time, power would transfer back to the president.

Read more: The 25th Amendment has been used 3 times to relieve presidents deemed unfit to govern — each case involving physical health

In addition to the alleged 25th Amendment conversations, McCabe also said that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to wear a wire around the president to record their conversations, according to Pelley. The offer was reportedly serious and was made more than once.

In September 2018, The New York Times reported that Rosenstein around the spring of 2017 had discussed the 25th Amendment and the possibility of wearing a wire to secretly record Trump. This was near the time Trump controversially fired former FBI Director James Comey and revealed classified intel to Russian officials in the Oval Office.

Rosenstein promptly denied the allegations in the Times story, and on Thursday pushed back against McCabe’s apparent claims in the new “60 Minutes” interview.

The deputy attorney general described McCabe’s claims as “inaccurate and factually incorrect.”

McCabe in his interview with “60 Minutes” said he opened an obstruction of justice inquiry into the president over Comey’s firing, and also began investigating Trump’s ties to Russia. After Comey was fired by the president, McCabe became acting director of the FBI.

Trump fired McCabe one day before he was set to retire in March 2018. Subsequently, the inspector general of the Justice Department released a report that said McCabe had violated the department’s guidelines by giving an aide permission to speak with the press about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The report also said McCabe had not been forthcoming with investigators when questioned about it.

McCabe has a book coming out on his time with the FBI, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” set to be released on February 19.

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