Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein allegedly discussed secretly recording President Donald Trump to exemplify the chaotic nature of his presidency, with the hope of using those recordings to recruit other cabinet members of the administration to remove him from office using the measures outlined in the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, The New York Times reported on Friday.
Citing several sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times describes Rosenstein’s mindset just weeks into his tenure as deputy attorney general. This period of time encompasses the events in which Trump had just fired former FBI director James Comey. A memo penned by Rosenstein served as justification by Trump to sever Comey’s position at the bureau — though some have questioned whether the direction of the Russia investigation played a part in his termination, according to previous reporting from Inquisitr.
According to the anonymous sources, Rosenstein was caught off-guard when Trump fired Comey and used his memo as the basis for doing so. In the hectic days after Comey’s firing, Rosenstein secretly discussed options with other Justice Department and FBI officials, suggesting that he, or somebody else, could secretly record the president’s rhetoric to demonstrate his instability.
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
Those recordings would then be shared with other administration officials to discuss the potential of removing the president from power. The 25th Amendment of The Constitution of the United States allows for the cabinet to remove a sitting president if they are “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” provided the vice president and a majority of the cabinet agree. Such a proclamation would also require two-thirds of both houses of Congress to concur in order to keep the president from contesting the declaration of their being unfit to serve.
Rosenstein, in a written statement, disputed the allegations by the sources to The New York Times, essentially dismissing the rumor as fake news.
“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.”
If the allegations are indeed true, then Rosenstein would be the first known member of the White House to have suggested the possible use of the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. Before this instance, however, an unknown official within the White House — or an anonymous individual masquerading as such — wrote an op-ed for the New York Times, also suggesting that the measure had been under consideration.