Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, fired last year after lying and leaking confidential information, disclosed in a “60 Minutes” interview that he launched an obstruction investigation into President Trump.
And he told CBS News that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s offer to “wear a wire” to trap the president was genuine.
McCabe, the Hill reports, told Scott Pelley that DOJ officials discussed removing the president under the 25th Amendment, which provides a constitutional process should a president become disabled.
McCabe is promoting his new book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.”
Pelley, appearing on “CBS This Morning” Thursday to discuss the interview, said McCabe told him Justice Department officials were trying to figure out “what to do” with Trump during the eight days between the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey and the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Pelley said: “There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment. And the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what to do with the president.”
There also were “multiple” offers from Rosenstein to wear a recording device while talking with the president, he claimed.
Pelley said McCabe took Rosenstein’s offer seriously, and “he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it.”
McCabe, according to Pelley, said he ordered an investigation into Trump over obstruction of justice after the president fired Comey.
Justice Department Thursday denied McCabe’s claims, insisting Rosenstein never authorized any consideration of invoking the 25th Amendment.
“There is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the [deputy attorney general] in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment,” the statement said.
Rosenstein has insisted the comments about wearing a wire were in jest.
President Trump reacted on Twitter, writing that McCabe was a “big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax” and a “puppet for Leakin’ James Comey.”
Trump was referring to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to transmit classified information while she was secretary of state under Barack Obama. When she ran for president in 2016, her campaign funded a “dossier” of unverified claims about Trump that was used by the Obama administration to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.
The dossier helped fuel the allegations of collusion that led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
After nearly two years, however, Mueller’s probe, as well as House and Senate investigations, have found no evidence of collusion.
CBS said McCabe told Pelley he ordered the investigation of the president because he wanted to make sure the “Russia case” was on “solid ground.”
Pelley said the “most illuminating and surprising thing in the interview to me were these eight days in May when all of these things were happening behind the scenes that the American people really didn’t know about.”
“There were meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment,” Pelley said. “These were the eight days from Comey’s firing to the point that Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. And the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what do with the president.”
The president also charged that McCabe was part of the implementation of the “insurance policy” in case Clinton lost. The backup plan mentioned in texts between then-FBI lead investigator Peter Strzok and his paramour, McCabe attorney Lisa Page, apparently was the dossier and the allegations of collusion they lead to impeachment.
A lawyer who formerly represented the president predicted this week that Mueller won’t issue a final report, because he has no evidence of collusion.
In still another scandal involving McCabe, his wife, Jill McCabe, was given hundreds of thousands of dollars by friends of Hillary Clinton when she ran for political office in Virginia.
It was a PAC run by then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a friend of Hillary Clinton, that gave her failed campaign nearly $500,000.
McCabe has reason to resent the president, who fired him just days before he was eligible for full pension benefits from the government.