Posted by Curt on 9 October, 2019 at 8:59 am. 2 comments already!


Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (shown) believed that he had the support of former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office, according to a new book.

Author James B. Stewart, whose new book Deep State examines the struggle between the president and the Justice Department bureaucracy, told MSNBC that Rosenstein was deeply committed to ousting the president, going so far as to want to wear a wire to entrap him.

Furthermore, Stewart said, Rosenstein thought he had the backing of key Trump cabinet members to use the 25th Amendment plan as a last resort.

“[Rosenstein] … denied saying that he wanted to invoke the 25th Amendment. But there are also witnesses to that conversation, and he even named two cabinet-level people who were going to support that — namely John Kelly, the chief of staff, and [Jeff] Sessions, the attorney general,” Stewart said.

The 25th Amendment, ratified in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, requires a majority vote of the Cabinet before action can be taken toward a president’s removal.

As Section 4 reads,

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Stewart said Rosenstein was confident members of the cabinet would turn on President Trump, based on assurances that were likely not sincere.

“That was an extreme step,” Stewart explained. “I do think that people who heard it didn’t really take it all that seriously. They took it more as a measure of how unnerved Rod Rosenstein was by the fact that Trump was trying to set him up, as the person who said, ‘fire James Comey.’”

The New York Times featured reporting to the same effect, claiming Rosenstein told former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe about his talks with cabinet members and his courting of Kelly and Sessions.

“Mr. Rosenstein told Mr. McCabe during a May 16, 2017, meeting that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John F. Kelly, the homeland security secretary, would most likely support such a move,” the Times report says.

According to Stewart’s book, President Trump’s firing of James Comey as FBI Director caused controversy in his administration. Kelly reportedly “felt sickened” by the dismissal and was considering resigning before the president moved him from Homeland Security secretary to chief of staff.

Stewart told NPR that Rosenstein had a “meltdown” over Comey’s firing, believing President Trump was lying about the incident:

Not only did Trump fire Comey but he immediately started publicly lying about it, and it sent Rosenstein into a panic. I mean those days, after he was fired — I have multiple, multiple sources on this — [were] incredibly tumultuous inside the FBI, inside the Justice Department. Rosenstein was having some kind of a meltdown.

He called for secretly wiring the president to collect evidence of obstruction, he thought about invoking the 25th Amendment. When he finally calmed down, this all, of course, got back to Trump. Trump now had every reason to fire him if he wanted to. And yet, on two different occasions, they had one-on-one meetings and amazingly, Rosenstein comes out with his job intact.

Rosenstein eventually stepped down from the deputy attorney general role in May of this year.

It was Rosenstein who wrote a memo to President Trump on May 9, 2017 recommending the firing of Comey, although Stewart’s book suggests Rosenstein did not intend for his memo to provide the basis for Comey’s firing and was outraged when the president used it as justification for the dismissal.

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