Published: Mon, February 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Ex-FBI official McCabe confirms discussions about removing Trump after Comey firing

Ex-FBI official McCabe confirms discussions about removing Trump after Comey firing

The US deputy attorney general discussed how many cabinet members would support removing US President Donald Trump from office in 2017, the FBI's former acting director said in an interview airing Sunday.

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 Russian Federation.

Mr. Rosenstein has dismissed such reports and said he was being sarcastic.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Lindsey Graham, called on McCabe to appear before the panel to "answer questions about what appears to be, now more than ever, bias against President Trump". Pelley said McCabe took the idea to Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyers for a discussion afterward. Around this time, Trump was in an escalating war with words with Kim, including his famous "fire and fury" threat.

The Times reported last month that, in fact, Trump had personally been the subject of a counterintelligence investigation by the FBI into whether he had acted on behalf of Russian Federation in firing Comey, possibly to try to prevent further discovery about what had taken place in 2016.

The Justice Department also issued a statement saying that "based on [McCabe's] personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment".

"'[Rosenstein] never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references", the statement said.

In a book excerpt obtained by The Atlantic, McCabe said the meeting with investigators was one in a series he held about protecting and preserving the probes.

Vice President Mike Pence also took aim at McCabe's interview, telling NBC News' Andrea Mitchell that he "never heard of any discussion of the 25th amendment, and, frankly, I find any mention of it to be absurd".

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McCabe was sacked last March by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for "an unauthorised disclosure to the news media and lacked candour - including under oath - on multiple occasions".

McCabe's full interview will be aired on "60 Minutes" Sunday, just days before his book "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump" is set to be released February 19.

The New York Times reported this plan previous year, citing an anonymous cabinet member, but Rosenstein dismissed the story as false.

In September the New York Times released an article which disclosed that Rosenstein wanted to secretly record President Trump, an allegation Rosenstein admitted, but said that he was joking. The Justice Department's watchdog has referred his findings on McCabe to the US Attorney's office in Washington for possible criminal charges.

The 25th amendment allows the vice-president and the majority of the cabinet to strip the president's powers if they determine he is unable to discharge the duties of his office.

Trump criticized McCabe in a pair of Twitter messages shortly after details of his yet-to-be-aired interview surfaced.

McCabe's portrait of the Trump administration and of the president himself is as alarming as any we have seen so far - including those of journalists such as Bob Woodward and former staff such as Cliff Sims.

McCabe's investigation was handed over to Special Counsel Robert Mueller eight days after Comey's firing and has been ongoing since.

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