Sources claim that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sought the removal of an unfit Donald Trump from the Presidency last year.
The unnamed officials told The New York Times that Rosenstein discussed recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump. They also said he suggested the secret recording of Trump in the White House to expose the chaos in the Administration.
Rosenstein supposedly took the initiative in May 2017 after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey in an unsuccessful attempt to shut down the Trump-Russia investigation. Trump bragged to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, as they visited the Oval Office, about dismissing “crazy…real nut job” Comey. Meanwhile, revelations established that Trump had asked Comey to pledge personal loyalty, a request evaded by the FBI. Director.
Rosenstein had only been in his post for two weeks at the time. As Deputy Attorney General, he officially oversaw the Trump-Russia investigation, because of the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his meetings with Kislyak during the 2016 campaign.
Rosenstein’s comments to other Justice Department and FBI officials were described by “several people” who were briefed on the events or on memos written by FBI personnel, including Acting Director Andrew McCabe.
The Deputy Attorney General reportedly told McCabe that he might be able to persuade Sessions and John Kelly, then the Homeland Security Secretary and now White House Chief of Staff, to try and invoke the 25th Amendment.
The McCabe memos have been turned over to the Trump-Russia investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to “sources familiar with the matter”.
Rosenstein rejected the account on Friday:
The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect. 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.
A Justice Department spokeswoman provided a statement from a person said to be present when Rosenstein proposed wearing a wire. The statement said Rosenstein made the remark sarcastically.
But other officials said Rosenstein not only confirmed that he was serious but followed up by suggesting that other FBI officials, interviewing to replace Comey, could also secretly record Trump.
Trump did not respond directly, but used a rally in Missouri on Friday night to assail the Justice Department and FBI:
I want to tell you, we have great people in the Department of Justice, we have great people. These are people, I really believe, you take a poll, I got to be at 95%.
But we had some real bad ones — you see what’s happened at the FBI, they’re all gone, they’re all gone, they’re all gone. But there’s a lingering stench and we’re going to get rid of that, too.
Just look at what is now being exposed in our Department of Justice and the FBI. Look at what’s going on. Look at what’s going on.