Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly suggested last year that he secretly record President Donald Trump, and he also allegedly discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove the President for being unfit, an explosive new report out Friday revealed.
The New York Times first broke the story, citing several anonymous sources who either had second-hand knowledge of the instances or were familiar with FBI memos about Rosenstein’s alleged comments.
He allegedly made remarks about getting officials to invoke the 25th Amendment because Trump was unfit, and wearing wires to secretly record the President; he made such remarks in meetings and in conversations with FBI and Justice Department officials, the Times said. Rosenstein reportedly made these comments last spring, in 2017, shortly after he became deputy attorney general.
Breaking News: Rod Rosenstein, the official who appointed Robert Mueller, once proposed secretly taping President Trump and removing him via the 25th Amendmenthttps://t.co/p6Y30OxzRd
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 21, 2018
Rosenstein apparently went so far as to say he could get support from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and now-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who was at the time serving as Secretary of Homeland Security, to invoke the 25th Amendment, the Times said.
In a statement to the Times, Rosenstein disputed the accusations.
“The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect. I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment,” he said in a statement to the Times, they reported.
JUST IN: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is denying a story in The New York Times about the early phase of his tenure, in which he was described as discussing that he might secretly record President Trump and that the Cabinet might need to invoke the 25th Amendment.
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) September 21, 2018
The 25th Amendment details when a President has a disability that prevents him from serving – he is “unfit,” and it says that the Vice President then becomes President. If the President “dies, resigns or is removed from office,” the Vice President shall be the President. The amendment was adopted in 1967.
Around that time last year was when Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey. Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017.
After he fired Comey, the President later tweeted that there may be “tapes” of their conversations. Comey then asked a “close friend” to leak a memo to the media.
Comey asked Columbia law professor Daniel Richman to leak the memo with the hope it would trigger a special counsel appointment, he admitted during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017. The next day, Robert Mueller was named as Special Counsel of the Russia investigation.
Rosenstein is overseeing Mueller’s investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself last March.
The deputy attorney general took over the Russia investigation when Sessions recused himself, and he also appointed Mueller.
Rosenstein also wrote the memo that recommended Comey be fired.
It was also Rosenstein who gave the go-ahead to raid Michael Cohen’s office, who was Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant