Senator to probe 'talk on ousting Trump'

The chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Committee has vowed to get to the bottom of allegations that discussions were held in 2017 on removing President Donald Trump from office.

Senator Lindsey Graham pledged to issue subpoenas “if that’s what it takes”.

Ex-acting FBI chief Andrew McCabe has said deputy US attorney general Rod Rosenstein discussed the numbers needed to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Mr Rosenstein has in the past denied discussing invoking the clause.

The amendment provides for the removal of a president if deemed unfit.

How have these allegations arisen again?

They are certainly not new.

They have returned to the spotlight on Sunday, with Mr McCabe appearing on the 60 Minutes show on CBS.

In comments released ahead of the airing of the show, he details what he says Mr Rosenstein discussed as regards the 25th Amendment.

Mr McCabe says: "The discussion of the 25th Amendment was simply [that] Rod raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort.

“The deputy attorney general was definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time.”

He restates his allegation that Mr Rosenstein had considered wearing a wire in meetings with Mr Trump.

Mr McCabe took over the FBI in 2017 after Mr Trump fired James Comey amid tension over the investigation into alleged collusion between his campaign team and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

Mr McCabe was himself fired as deputy director in March last year just two days before he was due to retire. He has now written a book on his time in the post.

On the Russia inquiry, Mr McCabe says he was “very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground in an indelible fashion that were I removed quickly and reassigned or fired that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace”.

How did Senator Graham respond?

The Republican was interviewed on CBS on Sunday morning, after some of Mr McCabe’s comments were released early.

“It’s stunning to me that one of the chief law enforcement officers of the land would go on national television and say, oh by the way I remember a conversation with the deputy attorney general about trying to find if we could replace the president under the 25th Amendment,” Mr Graham said.

“I think everybody in the country needs to know if it happened. I’m going to do everything I can to get to the bottom of Department of Justice [and] FBI behaviour toward President Trump and his campaign.”

He pledged to hold a hearing to determine “who’s telling the truth”.

What has Mr Rosenstein previously said?

Last September he strongly denied discussing invoking the constitutional clause to oust President Trump.

America’s second most senior law official said the allegation was “inaccurate and factually incorrect”.

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

A source told the BBC that the comment that Mr Rosenstein was thinking of secretly recording Mr Trump was sarcastic.

In January, US media reported that Mr Rosenstein was planning to quit, although no timeframe had been set.

What is the 25th Amendment?

It provides for the removal of a president if he is deemed unfit for office. Duties are transferred to the vice-president.

Activating the relevant section of the 25th Amendment would require the approval of eight of the 15 members of Mr Trump’s cabinet, the vice-president and two-thirds majorities in Congress.

Ronald Reagan and George W Bush used the amendment to temporarily transfer power when they were medically anaesthetised.

Two entirely different things.

Remember the libs all shouting “the walls are closing in on Trump”? 100 times over 100 bullshit items?

One of many 2017 examples

One of many 2018 examples

A 2019 example (its still just February LOL)

Andy McCabe better start measuring.

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Article isn’t terribly clear as to why it’s necessary to investigate. Was it illegal or otherwise out of bounds to discuss invoking the 25th? If he truly felt Trump was unfit to serve as POTUS, his first duty is to the nation, not the man. Correct?

I was unaware that he was a member of the cabinet.


It’s the role of doctors to make a health assessment of the ability of the President to execute the Office. Not FBI officials.

If FBI officials were shown to conspire to remove a President, not because he was medically unfit for office, but because they profoundly disliked or disagreed with him, then I can’t see how that isn’t a serious offence.

In addition, individuals may have perjured themselves if they made testimonies to Congress claiming it was never discussed.

Side note - It does shed some new light onto Comneys words, that Trump was morally unfit to serve.


I don’t think Rosenstein was making a health assessment of Trump so much as speculating whether it was necessary for someone to do one.

If FBI officials or anyone else was speculating on invoking the 25th because they didn’t like Trump, it’s still just speculation. Given the gravity of the situation and it’s potential fallout, they’d have to have pretty conclusive evidence that he was in fact unfit.

Now, if they are lying about never having discussed when they did? Interesting to see what comes of that, if it can be proven.

I remember when some in the CEC were speculating whether Biden, Clinton, and others were conspiring to remove Obama via the 25th. Looks like a recurrent theme.

Which is part of why I’m curious why there needs to be a probe - apart from speculating (which last I checked, isn’t against the law) what power did Rosenstein have to actually make something happen?

That may all be true, but then why lie about it? Why not trust the doctors opinion? Why attempt to recruit people in the Trump cabinet?

Why he’s lying about it now when he has no career to protect is a good question.


If he was lying then he better not change his story.

Anti-trumpism sure comes with some comorbidities. Career-ending goes so well with anti-trumpism. I bet incarceration will add a nice touch.

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Conspiring to use the 25th as a tool. Do you really not get this?

Proof of conspiracy?

Excellent job. Reminds me of when I inserted the teenage mutant ninja turtles into “The Last Supper” .

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I’ll assume the source is acceptable.

These people are above the law, so nothing will happen to them, but this could get interesting. McCabe screwed the pooch when he opened his mouth. They’re coming unraveled.

The hubris is incredible.

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Why would you assume anything? Do you always find the source acceptable, or just for now?

From the article:

Mr. Rosenstein made these suggestions in the spring of 2017 when Mr. Trump’s firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director plunged the White House into turmoil. Over the ensuing days, the president divulgedclassified intelligence to Russians in the Oval Office, and revelations emerged that Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Comey to pledge loyalty and end an investigation into a senior aide.

So we have a POTUS who gave classified intelligence to the Russians, and demanded a loyalty oath from subordinates. I’ll assume that had a Democratic POTUS done this, you would have had at least mild objections? At the very least it suggests there was something motivating the speculation about invoking the 25th beyond just personality conflicts.

None of Mr. Rosenstein’s proposals apparently came to fruition. It is not clear how determined he was about seeing them through, though he did tell Mr. McCabe that he might be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security and now the White House chief of staff, to mount an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment.

So we’re still in the realm of “What if?”

“The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” he said in a statement. “I will not further comment on a story based on 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.”

So he denies it, in which case we need proof or at least substantial corroborating evidence.

A Justice Department spokeswoman also provided a statement from a person who was present when Mr. Rosenstein proposed wearing a wire. The person, who would not be named, acknowledged the remark but said Mr. Rosenstein made it sarcastically.

More speculation that even if it was said, nothing was going to come of it.

The revelations about Mr. Rosenstein come as Mr. Trump has unleashed another round of attacks in recent days on federal law enforcement, saying in an interview with the newspaper The Hill that he hopes his assaults on the F.B.I. turn out to be “one of my crowning achievements,” and that he only wished he had terminated Mr. Comey sooner.

Trump certainly seems convinced that federal law enforcement agencies are out to destroy his administration. I’ll assume if he finds anything he’s able to prosecute (be it Rosenstein or anyone else) he’ll follow through.

Or was it the reality that Trump is president and removal at any cost the objective.

Much like the house and their fixation on impeachment. No reason other than to get rid of Trump.