Andrew McCabe, the former acting director of the FBI, has revealed that he ordered an obstruction of justice investigation focused on President Trump following the firing of James Comey. He also said that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had “raised the issue” of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. McCabe made these revelations in an interview with Scott Pelley.
The interview is scheduled to air Sunday, February 17, on 60 Minutes at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. If you don’t have cable, you can watch a live stream of 60 Minutes on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
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Andrew McCabe ’60 Minutes’ Interview Preview
Andrew McCabe, a career law enforcement agent who joined the FBI in 1996, served as the deputy director under James Comey. He was named acting director after President Trump fired Comey in May of 2017.
McCabe opened an obstruction of justice investigation into President Trump shortly after Comey was fired. He told 60 Minutes that he was concerned he would be the next to be fired, which would hinder the ongoing Russia investigation. (This was prior to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller). McCabe told Scott Pelley, “I 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 or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.”
McCabe has detailed a conversation he had with President Trump in his new book, “The Threat: How the FBI protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.” McCabe says he spoke with the president hours after Comey was fired. In an excerpt published in the Atlantic, McCabe explained that he first spoke with the president on an unsecured phone line, and then later in the Oval Office. Both times, the president talked about how happy people were that he had fired Comey and asked McCabe to confirm that people within the FBI were pleased about it.
In the 60 Minutes interview, McCabe also revealed a conversation about whether the 25th Amendment could be used to remove President Trump from office. The amendment allows for the vice president to take over if the commander-in-chief is somehow “incapacitated” and “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
McCabe claimed that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was overseeing the Russia probe since Jeff Sessions had recused himself, had raised the issue of ousting President Trump. CBS News released part of the transcript, which read:
“ANDREW MCCABE: Discussion of the 25th Amendment was, was simply 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.
SCOTT PELLEY: Rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president.
MCCABE: That’s correct. Counting votes or possible votes.”
McCabe also claimed that Rosenstein had been serious when he talked about secretly recording the president. Rosenstein has pushed back on McCabe’s account. His office released a statement on February 14 that read in part, “As to the specific portions of this interview provided to the Department of Justice by 60 Minutes in advance, the Deputy Attorney General again rejects Mr. McCabe’s recitation of events as inaccurate and factually incorrect. The deputy attorney general never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references. As the Deputy Attorney General previously has stated, based on his personal dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
McCabe’s spokesperson, Melissa Schwartz, clarified in a statement that McCabe had not had any “extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment,” but merely that a comment had been made about it.
President Trump also weighed in after the preview of McCabe’s interview with 60 Minutes aired. He slammed McCabe in a tweet, writing, “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. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating. Part of “insurance policy” in case I won.”
McCabe was fired by then-attorney general Jeff Sessions in March of 2018, shortly before he would have been eligible for early retirement benefits.
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