Lindsey Graham vows to hold hearings to find out if top Justice Department officials discussed removing Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment

  • Former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said he witnessed discussions about invoking the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution, which would provide a pathway to remove President Trump from the White House.
  • Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham pledged to hold a hearing and get to the bottom of the issue.
  • “So I promise your viewers the following: that we will have a hearing about who’s telling the truth, what actually happened,” Graham said.
  • McCabe made the comments as he is embarking on a media tour during the release of his new book.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he plans to hold hearings to look into recent comments from former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who claimed there were discussions among top officials about removing President Donald Trump from the White House.

During an interview on 60 Minutes Sunday, McCabe said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein floated the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, which provides a pathway to remove the president from office, after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey early in 2017.

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A spokesperson for McCabe attempted to backtrack on his initial comments in the 60 Minutes interview, saying a statement that “certain statements made by Mr. McCabe, in interviews associated with the release of his book, have been taken out of context and misrepresented.”

“To clarify, at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions,” McCabe spokesperson Melissa Schwartz added. “He was present and participated in a discussion that included a comment by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein regarding the 25th Amendment.”

Schwartz also noted that the 25th Amendment anecdote is not featured in McCabe’s new book, but he was instead confirming “a discussion that was initially reported elsewhere.”

Rosenstein has denied making such comments about invoking the 25th Amendment.

But Graham, now chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, was not satisfied with McCabe’s clarification and pledged to pursue the matter further.

During an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation, Graham vowed to “do everything I can to get to the bottom of the Department of Justice, FBI behaviour toward President Trump and his campaign.”

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Some of Trump’s top-most advisers have reportedly discussed invoking the 25th Amendment, which lets 14 people remove a sitting president from office. Here’s how it works.

Graham added that “the whole point of Congress existing is to provide oversight of the executive branch,” noting the need for a hearing.

“The deputy attorney general denies it,” he said. “So I promise your viewers the following: that we will have a hearing about who’s telling the truth, what actually happened. Mr. McCabe, you remember, was dismissed from the FBI for leaking information to the press. So you’ve got to remember the source here.”

“It’s stunning to me that one of the chief law enforcement officers of the land – the acting head of the FBI – 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,” Graham continued. “We’re a democracy. People enforce the law – can’t take it into their own hands. And was this an attempted bureaucratic coup? I don’t know. I don’t know who’s telling the truth. I know Rosenstein vehemently denied it but we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”

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