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Rosenstein thought he could convince Kelly, Sessions use 25th Amendment



Rod Rosenstein
Rod Rosenstein.
Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly
    thought he could persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and
    then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to lead an effort
    to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove President Donald Trump
    from office.
  • The New York Times reported the
    news Friday
    , citing anonymous sources who were briefed on
    Rosenstein’s comments or memos from FBI officials, including
    Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the
  • Rosenstein disputed The Times’ story.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein thought he could persuade
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-Homeland Security
Secretary John Kelly to lead an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove
President Donald Trump from office last May, The New York Times reported on

Rosenstein, The Times reported, said as much to then-FBI Acting
Director Andrew McCabe in the days that immediately followed
Trump firing FBI Director James Comey.

The Times reported that Rosenstein commented on invoking the 25th
Amendment and about secretly recording Trump in meetings and
conversations with Justice Department and FBI officials,
according to several people who described the comments to the

Those sources were either briefed on the comments or on memos FBI
officials such as McCabe authored.

In a statement to The Times, Rosenstein disputed the story,
calling it “inaccurate and factually incorrect.” He added that
the information was planted by “anonymous sources who are
obviously biased against the department and are advancing their
own personal agenda.”

“But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings
with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th
Amendment,” he said.

sessions kelly tillerson new travel ban
of State Rex Tillerson, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly arrive at a news at the
U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Washington, Monday,
March 6, 2017, to make statements on issues related to visas and

Photo/Susan Walsh

An anonymous Justice Department spokeswoman told The Times that a
person who was present when Rosenstein proposed secretly
recording Trump by wearing a wire during a meeting with the
president said the comment was made sarcastically.

McCabe’s attorney told The Times in a statement that his client
“has no knowledge of how any member of the media obtained those

Rosenstein’s proposals did not ultimately come to fruition, The
Times wrote.

The 25th Amendment has come up quite a bit during Trump’s

There has been plenty of chatter about invoking the 25th
Amendment during the course of Trump’s presidency.

Earlier this month, a senior official in President Donald Trump’s
administration authored an anonymous New York
Times op-ed
in which they wrote that members of the Cabinet
discussed it.

“Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers
within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would
start a complex process for removing the president,” the
anonymous official wrote. “But no one wanted to precipitate a
constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the
administration in the right direction until — one way or another
— it’s over.”

That followed a discussion earlier this year that was in line
with the release of the explosive book, “Fire and Fury” — whose author,
Michael Wolff, said the amendment was brought
up “all the time” in the White House.

And late last year, a Vanity Fair report suggested that former
White House chief strategist Steve Bannon believes it is the most plausible
way Trump could be removed
from office.

But the amendment contains a fatal flaw that renders it
essentially useless in such a scenario.

A section of the 1967 constitutional amendment allows for the
vice president plus a majority of the Cabinet members to declare
that the president is unfit for office.

But there is no mechanism for dealing with a president who simply
decides to fire Cabinet members who choose to join with a
majority declaring the president unfit once a president were to
catch wind of the effort.

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