Andrew McCabe Confirms DOJ Held Meetings to Discuss Invoking 25th Amendment to Remove Donald Trump

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Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee meeting on the FBI's budget requests for fiscal year 2018 on June 21, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images

Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director and former acting director of the FBI, told CBS's 60 Minutes that meetings were held at the Department of Justice to discuss invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office.

In the brief time period between former FBI Director James Comey's firing and the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein considered wearing a wire in meetings with Trump, according to McCabe, in an interview with 60 Minutes. Upon Comey's firing, McCabe became the acting FBI director. The New York Times reported the same information in September 2018, which DOJ at the time said was a sarcastic suggestion.

Although the portion of the interview with McCabe has not yet been released, CBS's Scott Pelley said McCabe told him the idea of removing Trump from office "came up more than once and it was so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it." McCabe and others at DOJ were "counting noses" in an effort to predict who in the president's Cabinet, including Vice President Mike Pence, would vote to force Trump from office, according to Pelley.

Following Comey's firing, McCabe said he initiated the FBI's obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigations into the president, which the White House labeled a "completely baseless investigation."

"I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion," McCabe said. "That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace... If somebody came in behind me and closed it and tried to walk away from it, they would not be able to do that without creating a record of why they made that decision."

In a statement, DOJ said Rosenstein "never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references," and that Rosenstein "again rejects Mr. McCabe's recitation of events as inaccurate and factually incorrect." Although DOJ said Rosenstein believes there is "no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was [he] in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment," the statement did not directly refute McCabe's claim that such information was discussed.

Trump fired back via Twitter, labeling McCabe as a "disgraced" acting director and that he was a "puppet" for Comey. The president has long thrown public insults at the former FBI employee, whose new book The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, scheduled for release next week, further details his experience inside the FBI under the Trump presidency.

"Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a "poor little Angel" when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax - a puppet for Leakin' James Comey," the president tweeted.

Before McCabe became eligible for retirement in March 2018 retirement, he abruptly resigned from the bureau. Two days before his retirement was set to begin, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe, no longer allowing him to receive retirement benefits. A DOJ Inspector General report in April 2018 alleged that McCabe repeatedly lied to the FBI about providing non-classified information to a news organization.

"I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of 'insurance policy' in case I won," Trump added in his tweet.

This story has been updated to include a statement from the DOJ and a tweet from President Donald Trump.