A spokeswoman for former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said Friday that he was taken out of context in reports that the Justice Department discussed removing President Donald Trump from office using the 25th Amendment.
According to CBS, McCabe said Justice Department officials discussed whether to invoke the 25th Amendment in the eight days between Trump’s May 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey and the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. However, McCabe spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said Friday that his comments had been misrepresented.
“He was present and participated in a discussion that included a comment by deputy attorney general Rosenstein regarding the 25th Amendment,” Schwartz said. “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.”
Unnamed Justice Department officials had denied the allegation in a statement released Thursday, saying “there was no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the (deputy attorney general) in a position to consider invoking the 25th.”
McCabe was named acting director of the FBI after Comey’s firing. He told CBS he moved quickly to begin obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigations of the president after his appointment.
"I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion," McCabe told the news network. "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’s comments confirmed a report from The New York Times last month that authorities had opened a criminal and counterintelligence investigation into Trump after Comey’s dismissal. According to the Times, the aim of the investigation was to determine whether Trump “knowingly worked for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”
McCabe was fired abruptly in March 2018, just days before he was set to retire. McCabe said he believed his firing was politically motivated, although then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said McCabe had “inappropriately authorized the disclosure of sensitive information” about the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while in office, according to Politico. The investigation did not result in charges against Clinton.
McCabe had been with the FBI for 22 years.