Former Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, who was fired last year, has warned that he believed that President Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election “with the aid of Russia.”
McCabe sat down for an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes news magazine, to be aired in full on Sunday evening, in which he discussed Trump and allegations of collusion with Russia. In addition to sharing his own personal views on the subject, he explained that there was enough concern about Trump that the Justice Department considered pushing for the president’s cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. The former FBI deputy director also explained that he ordered an obstruction of justice investigation after the firing of his boss James Comey.
“I was speaking to the man [Trump] who had just run for the presidency, and won the election of the presidency, and who might have done so with the aid of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage, and that was something that troubled me greatly,” McCabe told 60 Minutes. He explained that he met with the team investigating allegations surrounding Russia’s interference in the 2016 election the next day.
“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion,” he said. “That were I removed quickly, or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace.”
“I wanted to make sure that our case was on solid ground and if somebody came in behind me and closed it and tried to walk away from it, they would not be able to do that without creating a record of why they made that decision,” McCabe added.
In the interview, McCabe also reportedly confirmed that there were meetings held at the Justice Department to discuss removing Trump using the 25th Amendment. Although that part of the interview has not been released, journalist Scott Pelley discussed the comments from McCabe in a panel discussion.
“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,” Pelley said.
The journalist said that McCabe had confirmed “they were counting noses.” Although they were “not asking cabinet members whether they would vote for or against removing the president” the investigators “were speculating” which members would support removing Trump.
McCabe announced that he would be stepping down as deputy director of the FBI in January of 2019. A report by the Office of the Inspector General alleged that he had lied to or misled federal investigators on at least four occasions. But McCabe disputed the report, and his lawyer argued that it had been put forward under political pressure from Trump.
The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of the president if the vice president and the majority of the cabinet believe he or she is not fit to carry out the duties of the office.