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Justice Department discussed using 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office


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WASHINGTON — Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director, said in an interview aired on Thursday that top Justice Department officials were so alarmed by President Trump’s decision in May 2017 to fire James B. Comey, the bureau’s director, that they discussed whether to recruit cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office.

 

The concerns about the president’s actions also prompted Mr. McCabe to order the bureau’s team investigating Russia’s election interference to expand their scope to also investigate whether Mr. Trump had obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey. They also were to examine if he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.

 

“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,” Mr. Pelley said. “These were the eight days from Comey’s firing to the point that Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. And the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what do with the president.”

 

According to one of those memos written by Mr. McCabe, an excerpt from which was provided to The New York Times, the former F.B.I. agent wrote that “we discussed the president’s capacity and the possibility he could be removed from office under the 25th Amendment” and the deputy attorney general indicated he looked into the issue and determined he would need a “majority or 8 of the 15 cabinet officials.” Mr. McCabe added that Mr. Rosenstein suggested that he might have supporters in the attorney general and secretary of Homeland Security.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/14/us/politics/andrew-mccabe-25th-amendment.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes

 

Also:

 

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“Every day brings a new low, with the president exposing himself as a deliberate liar who will say whatever he pleases to get whatever he wants,” McCabe wrote. “If he were ‘on the box’ at Quantico, he would break the machine.”

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/andrew-mccabe-fbi-trump-25th-amendment_us_5c6561d4e4b0aec93d3bf72b?ec_carp=3377070500952962290

 

Trump has responded to the news:

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

Justice Dept officials shouldn't be discussing that. It's a political move and should only be discussed by cabinet members. 

 

Then again, the cabinet should be comprised of people not so god damn beholden to the president, and the Senate should have done its just to ensure that.

 

But here we are.

 

If they determined in their capacity as law enforcement and counter intelligence that he was breaking the law and acting against American interests on behalf of a foreign power they shouldn't try to get the vice president and cabinet members to remove him? Then how should this have gone?

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8 minutes ago, skillzdadirecta said:

 

If they determined in their capacity as law enforcement and counter intelligence that he was breaking the law and acting against American interests on behalf of a foreign power they shouldn't try to get the vice president and cabinet members to remove him? Then how should this have gone?

I don't want the security state getting an effective veto on who is president.

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1 minute ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

I don't want the security state getting an effective veto on who is president.

Doesn't sound like thats what happened and thats a very reactionary way to look at it. It sounds like they suspected (or uncovered) evidence of him doing wrong against the country and were discussing following proper protocol... which would be it inform the vice-president and cabinet members and have THEM removes him... which is IN the Constitution. Otherwise they would have just arrested him like any other person but since he's the President, they couldn't do that. So again I ask, if Law Enforcement in its rightful capacity, discovers the President has broken the law or is working against the interests of the United States for a foreign power, then what exactly should their recourse be if not to go to the Vice President and Cabinet?

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7 minutes ago, skillzdadirecta said:

Doesn't sound like thats what happened and thats a very reactionary way to look at it. It sounds like they suspected (or uncovered) evidence of him doing wrong against the country and were discussing following proper protocol... which would be it inform the vice-president and cabinet members and have THEM removes him... which is IN the Constitution. Otherwise they would have just arrested him like any other person but since he's the President, they couldn't do that. So again I ask, if Law Enforcement in its rightful capacity, discovers the President has broken the law or is working against the interests of the United States for a foreign power, then what exactly should their recourse be if not to go to the Vice President and Cabinet?

Go to their boss, the AG, and have them make the determination of what to do next. They need to stay in their lane. If not them, then Congress. 

 

Given the history of the FBI, I don't think it wise to let them have too much leeway here. 

 

If this was a middle Eastern or Latin American country, the press would report this as "junior officers in the state security apparatus sought to remove the duly elected president and install the vice President in his place."

 

Strictly (and more generally) speaking, the president determines what is in the national interest, not someone in the justice department.

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To be fair, it's not like they could actually do anything. Them wanting to use the 25th would actually entail them going to the AG and saying it might be warranted, and then it's up to cabinet. However, it's not even up to the cabinet, as once they "remove" the President, the President can immediately say they are fit, and then the decision goes to Congress. 

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13 minutes ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

It's worth reiterating that the FBI is not your friend, and you should always be weary of law enforcement, especially when determining something being in the national interest. The justifiable terribleness of this administration has made too many liberals too cozy with law enforcement.

 

My Dad just retired from the Police force and I know this to be true and I get it. But I also know that you should also be wary of corrupt politicians and rich businessmen who put their financial interests first. To your point about a Latin American country, in a third world country this would just be a Military Coup. Here, these guys were discussing following political remedies to a potential constitutional crisis. I get being wary of law enforcement, I really do, but we can't ignore what is going on in the country and write any check on this President as being some threat to Democracy. That just plays into Trump's hands. 

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1 minute ago, skillzdadirecta said:

 

My Dad just retired from the Police force and I know this to be true and I get it. But I also know that you should also be weary of corrupt politicians and rich businessmen who put their financial interests first. To your point about a Latin American country, in a third world country this would just be a Military Coup. Here, these guys were discussing following political remedies to a potential constitutional crisis. I get being wary of law enforcement, I really do, but we can't ignore what is going on in the country and write any check on this President as being some threat to Democracy. That just plays into Trump's hands. 

It still requires two thirds of Congress to agree that the president is unfit.

 

And given that the FBI in the past had spied on the president and engaged in blackmail, I don't trust them to not engage in other illegal acts to get their way with Congress when it comes to the president.

 

This president is a threat to everyone, but so is letting the FBI decide what is in the national interest

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5 minutes ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

It still requires two thirds of Congress to agree that the president is unfit.

 

And given that the FBI in the past had spied on the president and engaged in blackmail, I don't trust them to not engage in other illegal acts to get their way with Congress when it comes to the president.

 

This president is a threat to everyone, but so is letting the FBI decide what is in the national interest

 

Again, that's not what happened here.

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25 minutes ago, b_m_b_m_b_m said:

It still requires two thirds of Congress to agree that the president is unfit.

 

And given that the FBI in the past had spied on the president and engaged in blackmail, I don't trust them to not engage in other illegal acts to get their way with Congress when it comes to the president.

 

This president is a threat to everyone, but so is letting the FBI decide what is in the national interest

Yeah, but if the Cabinet, people who are appointed by and report to the president directly, say he's unfit then he has to provide justification that he is fit for duty. Then all members of Congress have to go on record as well.  I think the political optics of Trump's appointees saying unfit, but slack-jawed GOP politicians overriding that would be incredibly damaging. 

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The  concerns about the president’s actions also prompted Mr. McCabe to order the bureau’s team investigating Russia’s election interference to expand their scope to also investigate whether Mr. Trump had obstructed justice by firing Mr . Comey. They also were to examine if he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests .

What are American interests? They're defined by the president, because they swear to protect and defend the Constitution, not protect and defend specific interests.  This particular investigation should have stopped once Trump became president. (This doesn't preclude investigations into criminal conspiracy about Russian hacking before the election, or obstruction of Justice while president) 

 

The president appoints a cabinet to implement what he thinks is in the interest of the United States to defend the Constitution. They could have discussed this internally and then gone to Sessions, but that's the extent of what they should have been doing in their positions. The 25th amendment is for if a president ends up in a coma or something, not because they're a bad president or you disagree with their definition of American interests.

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4 minutes ago, ThreePi said:

Yeah, but if the Cabinet, people who are appointed by and report to the president directly, say he's unfit then he has to provide justification that he is fit for duty. Then all members of Congress have to go on record as well.  I think the political optics of Trump's appointees saying unfit, but slack-jawed GOP politicians overriding that would be incredibly damaging. 

And absolutely none of this was going to happen because of Trump's little cult he's built. He also doesn't have to justify how he's fit for duty, just has to inform Congress that he is fit. Then he could fire his cabinet and start anew.

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He didn’t read intelligence reports and mixed up classified material with what he had seen in newspaper clips. He seemed confused about the structure and purpose of organizations and became overwhelmed when meetings covered multiple subjects. He blamed immigrants for nearly every societal problem and uttered racist sentiments with shocking callousness.

 

This isn’t how President Trump is depicted in a new book by former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe. Instead, it’s McCabe’s account of what it was like to work for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

 

The FBI was better off when “you all only hired Irishmen,” Sessions said in one diatribe about the bureau’s workforce. “They were drunks but they could be trusted. Not like all those new people with nose rings and tattoos — who knows what they’re doing?”

 

Gee I can't possibly imagine why the FBI was thinking about trying to skip past the KKKeebler Elf's rung on the ladder with the 25th Amendment discussion. 

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