An interview with former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe on Thursday, February 14, 2019 – Valentine’s Day – disclosed the truth about what Justice Department elites did after newly-elected President Donald J. Trump fired FBI director James Comey.
Top officials over at the DOJ (U.S. Department of Justice) seriously debated whipping up cabinet member support sufficient to invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment.
One section of this law covers what happens if the President becomes unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office. A country with an incapable, ineffective, or unaccountable leader needs recourse, and this amendment provides it.
Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of Amendment 25 states that the Vice President fills in for an incapacitated President – but both may be outed by Congress which then taps an official Acting President:
“In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.”
There is historical precedent for invoking the clause of the 25th Amendment. It was used during the 1970s, resulting for the first time in U.S. history in the accession to the Presidency and Vice-Presidency of two men who had not faced the voters in a national election.
Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned on October 10, 1973. Then-President Nixon nominated Gerald R. Ford of Michigan to succeed him, following the procedures of Section 2 of the Amendment for the first time. Hearings were held upon the nomination by the Senate Rules Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. Both Houses after that confirmed the nomination and the new Vice President took the oath of office December 6, 1973.
President Richard M. “I Am Not a Crook!” Nixon resigned his office on August 9, 1974. Then-Vice President Ford immediately succeeded to the office and took the presidential oath of office at noon on the same day.
Again following Section 2 of the 25th Amendment, President Ford nominated Nelson A. Rockefeller of New York to be Vice President. On August 20, 1974, confirmation hearings were held in both Houses which voted for Mr. Rockefeller who then took the oath of office on December 19, 1974.
Soon after learning of Comey’s anticipated firing, Deputy FBI Director McCabe directed one of his teams to look into Russian 2016 election interference and the question of whether or not Trump had obstructed justice in firing Comey. The FBI also started an inquiry to see if Trump had conspired on behalf of Russia against American interests.
McCabe’s anti-Trump comments were part of the ousted lawman’s self-promotional book launch and product marketing campaign. The unemployed FBI director has written a tell-all called “The Threat: How the F.B.I. Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” due for release in the near future.
Two days before his official retirement from office in March 2018, McCabe was terminated by Jeff Sessions, then-Attorney General. McCabe lost his eligibility for full pension benefits.
The DOJ Inspector General reported, after “an extensive and fair investigation and according to Department of Justice procedure,” into how the FBI treated the Hillary Clinton email server investigation, they turned over their findings on allegations of misconduct by Andrew McCabe to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).
McCabe was fired for blabbing to the media:
“The FBI’s OPR then reviewed the report and underlying documents and issued a disciplinary proposal recommending the dismissal of Mr. McCabe. Both the OIG and FBI OPR reports concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”
President Trump tweeted his candid opinion on Valentine’s Day 2019:
“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….”
Sixteen minutes later, the U.S. President tweeted:
“Many of the top FBI brass were fired, forced to leave, or left. McCabe’s wife received BIG DOLLARS from Clinton people for her campaign – he gave Hillary a pass. McCabe is a disgrace to the FBI and a disgrace to our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
McCabe’s recent remarks remind many observers that this man also participated in conversations with co-conspirator Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and other Justice Department and FBI officials who plotted how to bring down the newly-elected GOP president. They discussed “making secret recordings – wearing a wire – to gather intelligence for later use as a weapon against Trump.” (Rosenstein later said this was mentioned as a joke.)
After interviewing McCabe on the Valentine’s Day “CBS This Morning” show, Scott Pelley said he was illuminated and surprised by those little-known eight critical days in May 2017:
“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. 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.”
Many observers point out that neither the DOJ nor the FBI has the authority to invoke the 25th Constitutional Amendment. The amendment states that if, for whatever reason, the Vice President (VP) and a majority of sitting Cabinet secretaries decide that the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” they can simply put their concerns in writing and send that document to two people: the House Speaker and the Senate’s president pro tempore.
At that point, the VP would immediately become “acting president” and take over all the presidential powers.
The President then has the right to dispute the executive action. It takes a congressional vote to decide the matter. A two-thirds majority in both houses is required to retain the VP as Commander-in-Chief. Otherwise, the President regains all presidential powers.
The fact that McCabe and other highly-placed officials in the FBI and Justice Department were discussing the 25th Amendment does seem odd. Legally, such talk constitutes a coup (illegal overthrow of the existing government).
McCabe is currently involved in a grand jury investigation that is part of a broader examination of issues and allegations inside the Justice Department.