Andrew McCabe, former FBI deputy director, explained why he decided to investigate President Donald Trump in an interview made public on Thursday.
Not long after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, McCabe, Trinity '90, said he launched obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigations of Trump regarding his potential tie to the Russian government, McCabe said in a clip of an interview with 60 Minutes aired Thursday.
“[Trump had] just won the election for the presidency…with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage,” McCabe said. “And that was something that troubled me greatly.”
The interview aimed to promote McCabe’s memoir, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” which will be released next week, according to The New York Times. The full interview will be broadcast Sunday.
McCabe confirmed that the Justice Department discussed the possibility of removing Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment during the eight days between the firing of Comey and the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel, according to Scott Pelley, the CBS journalist who conducted the interview.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told The New York Times in the spring of 2017 that he wore a wire to record Trump in the White House and discussed recruiting cabinet members to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment. Pelley said on CBS This Morning that McCabe had confirmed that claim.
Officials from the Justice Department later stated Rosenstein was being sarcastic when he made such a claim, according to NBC News.
The Justice Department told 60 Minutes in a statement that what McCabe suggested in the interview was “inaccurate and factually incorrect" and that the "deputy attorney general never authorized any recording [of the president].”
“Nor was the deputy attorney general in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment,” the statement said.
McCabe stepped down from his role as deputy director but remained on the FBI staff in January 2018. He was fired in March, one day before his official retirement from the Bureau, when he was eligible to receive a pension.
He filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department in June 2018 on the grounds that the department declined to disclose the policies and procedures it followed prior to dismissing him, according to the Associated Press. McCabe’s lawyers claimed the Justice Department did not share the materials because they feared the potential use of the documents in additional lawsuits, the Associated Press reported.
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