Ex-FBI official was concerned Russia probes could ‘vanish’
WASHINGTON — Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in an interview aired Thursday that he worried that investigations into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and possible obstruction of justice would be shut down after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey.
According to CBS, which conducted the interview, McCabe said Justice Department officials discussed bringing the Cabinet together to consider using the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
McCabe, a frequent target of Trump’s ire, described in the interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he was greatly alarmed by the possibility that the president “might have won the White House with the aid of the government of Russia.” He said he assembled his investigators the day after his boss, Comey, was fired to discuss how to keep the investigations moving forward in the event he was fired or reassigned.
“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground, in an indelible fashion,” McCabe 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.”
McCabe was fired from the FBI last year after the Justice Department inspector general concluded that he had lied during an internal investigation into a news media disclosure. The allegations, which McCabe has denied, have been referred for investigation to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington. McCabe blasted his firing as part of the Trump administration’s “war on the FBI” and special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation
Of his actions after Comey’s firing, McCabe added: “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.”
Trump responded on Twitter Thursday to news reports of the interview, saying, “Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a ‘poor little Angel’ when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax – a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating.”
The Justice Department also issued a statement challenging Rosenstein’s credibility and saying that “based on (McCabe’s) personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
The interview will air Sunday. CBS released an excerpt of the interview Thursday.
McCabe has a book out next week, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” about his time in the FBI.