A new bombshell report reveals that two top FBI officials were ready to help oust President Trump from office.
Fox News reported that former top FBI lawyer James Baker, in closed-door testimony to Congress, detailed alleged discussions among senior officials at the Justice Department about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office, claiming he was told Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said two Trump Cabinet officials were “ready to support” such an effort.
The testimony was delivered last fall to the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. Fox News has confirmed portions of the transcript. It provides additional insight into discussions that have returned to the spotlight in Washington as fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe revisits the matter during interviews promoting his forthcoming book.
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Former FBI general counsel James Baker testified to Congress last fall that he was told by two officials that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said a pair of Cabinet officials was “ready to support” an effort to remove President Trump from office.
Addressing a joint task force of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, Baker did not name the Cabinet officials. Baker did identify the two FBI officials who informed him of Rosenstein’s talk of invoking the 25th Amendment: Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whose anti-Trump text message with ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok has fueled concern among GOP lawmakers that there is rampant bias in the FBI.
“I was being told by some combination of Andy McCabe and Lisa Page, that, in a conversation with the deputy attorney general, he had stated that he — this was what was related to me — that he had at least two members of the president’s Cabinet who were ready to support, I guess you would call it, an action under the 25th Amendment,” Baker said in a closed-door testimony, according to Fox News.
Scrutiny of Rosenstein has another high note this week as McCabe embarks on an explosive media tour to promote his new book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.” Speaking with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” McCabe confirmed reports that Rosenstein told Justice Department officials about wearing a “wire” to record conversations with Trump and that he had discussed invoking the 25th Amendment against the president in the days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
The New York Times reported on Thursday it had obtained an excerpt from one of McCabe’s contemporaneous memos on his interactions DOJ officials. He wrote, “We discussed the president’s capacity and the possibility he could be removed from office under the 25th Amendment.” He further noted that Rosenstein examined the issue and decided that a “majority or 8 of the 15 cabinet officials” would be needed to follow through.
McCabe also said Rosenstein suggested that sympathetic Cabinet members who might join their cause included the attorney general and homeland security secretary, who at the time were Jeff Sessions and John Kelly, respectively.
The Justice Department responded to McCabe’s “60 Minutes” interview, claiming his version of events was “inaccurate and factually incorrect.” McCabe became the first official to go on record to say there was talk at the DOJ about undermining Trump. Rosenstein previously denied past reporting that said those discussions took place, while sources told NBC News that he was only joking about secretly recording the president.
As lawmakers on both sides of the aisle began calling for McCabe to testify, a spokeswoman for McCabe said his comments were “taken out-of-context and misrepresented” during the media tour for his book.
“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,” Melissa Schwartz 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.”
McCabe, a 21-year veteran of the FBI who briefly served as acting FBI director after Comey was fired, was himself fired on March 16, 2018, two days before he planned to retire on his 50th birthday and collect a full pension, after the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General determined that he misled investigators about the role he had in leaking information to the Wall Street Journal in October 2016 about the investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
He “lacked candor” on four occasions when interviewing with internal investigators, the IG report said. In April, it was revealed that the Justice Department IG had referred its findings to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington for possible criminal charges. Federal prosecutors used a grand jury to investigate McCabe. McCabe told CBS he ordered an obstruction of justice investigation into Trump after he fired Comey in the spring of 2017.