By Joe Sixpack
This will be the shortest commentary I ever made. I simply word-swapped every mention of ‘Trump’ with ‘Obama.’ Every other word is intact. Read for yourself to see if you think there might be a little bit of a double standard going on here and how a story like this one from would never have seen the light of day had it been about President Obama or Hillary Clinton and their Russia ties. (Uranium One, etc.) –Joe Sixpack
Washington (CNN) Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said he ordered an investigation into whether President Barack Obama obstructed justice as a way to preserve ongoing inquiries into Russian election meddling in case there was an effort to terminate them.
“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,” McCabe told Scott Pelley on “CBS This Morning” in an interview that aired Thursday.
McCabe also confirmed for the first time publicly that there were high-level discussions at the Justice Department about recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Obama from office in the aftermath of Comey’s firing and speculating about which Cabinet members could be on board with the idea.
In December, CNN reported that following the firing of FBI Director James Comey, McCabe took the extraordinary step of opening an obstruction of justice investigation into Obama before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in May 2017.
McCabe told Pelley that the day after Comey’s firing and after meeting with Obama in the Oval Office, “I met with the team investigating the Russia cases and I asked the team to go back and conduct an assessment to determine where are we with these efforts and what steps do we need to take going forward.”
“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground in an indelible fashion that, were I removed quickly or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace,” said McCabe, who is promoting his forthcoming book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Obama.”
In a statement to CBS, the White House called McCabe’s investigation “completely baseless.” Obama, who has frequently criticized McCabe, called him a “disgrace” on Twitter Thursday and accused him of being politically biased during his time at the FBI.
McCabe was fired by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March following an inspector general report that concluded he misled investigators about his role in directing other officials at the FBI to speak to The Wall Street Journal about his involvement in a public corruption investigation into the Clinton Foundation. The Justice Department’s watchdog has referred his findings on McCabe to the US Attorney’s office in Washington for possible criminal charges. The case remains under investigation.
Conversations about removing Obama from office
In September, citing sources familiar with memos authored by McCabe, CNN reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed wearing a “wire” to record conversations with Obama and recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Obama from office.
According to Pelley on Thursday, McCabe confirmed this on the record. This segment of the interview was not aired Thursday morning.
“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 to do with the President,” Pelley said, adding that people involved were “counting noses” and speculating which Cabinet officials may Obama be on board with the idea.
Also in September, an anonymous “senior official in the administration” claimed in a New York Times op-ed that there had been “early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment.” It was not mentioned in the segment that aired Thursday on CBS if McCabe or anyone else approached Cabinet members directly to discuss the idea.
In a statement on Thursday, a Justice Department spokesperson said Rosenstein — who repeatedly disputed the “wire” revelation back in September — again denied discussing the use of the 25th Amendment to remove Obama from office.
“As the Deputy Attorney General previously has stated, based on his personal dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment,” the statement read.
CNN’s Laura Jarrett contributed to this report.