South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham vowed this week to launch a probe into reports that two senior Justice Department officials conspired to gather evidence against Trump in order to use the 25th Amendment to remove him from office, Politico is reporting.
Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe claimed last month in an explosive 60 Minutes interview, that back in May 2017, after Trump abruptly fired then-FBI director James Comey, that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to “wear a wire” in conversations with Trump in order to gather evidence that he is mentally unable to carry out the duties of president.
McCabe insists that the idea “went nowhere.” Rosenstein, for his part, insists that no such thing ever happened. McCabe has since been fired from his post for inappropriately sharing sensitive information with a reporter and lying to investigators, while Rosenstein still has his job.
Graham says that, if McCabe’s allegation is true, then two men essentially conspired against the president’s back in order to affect a “coup” against him.
“The committee is deeply concerned with these discussions and whether they essentially indicate that two of the highest ranking law enforcement officials in the United States were discussing what amounts to a coup against the President.”
To that end, Graham has announced that he plans to demand from Attorney General William Barr any documents or memos he may have regarding reported discussions between McCabe and Rosenstein or between other Justice Department officials regarding the 25th Amendment, as well as any documents he may have regarding secretly recording Donald Trump. He’s giving Barr a two-week deadline.
The role of the 25th Amendment
Ratified in February 1967, over three years after it was proposed in the aftermath of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Amendment, according to Cornell Law School, lays out the process for replacing the president if the current office-holder is unable to do the job. The first clause of the Amendment is pretty straightforward, saying that the Vice President shall assume the office of president in the event of the death or resignation of his predecessor.
However, later in the narrative, the Amendment lays out the series of steps necessary to remove the president from office if he is unable to discharge the duties thereto, for example, in the case of a devastating illness.
Therefore, the Amendment could theoretically be used against the president if he is mentally ill, suffering from a neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, or in similar cases. It has never been used in such a way, according to U.S. News and World Report.