While we were all busy watching whether Congress could reach a deal on the border wall, two tangentially related things that deserved more attention popped up on the periphery of the news map. Both are closely related, and one of them, if true, was an attempted coup, according to a constitutional lawyer.
First, it was revealed that after an exhaustive investigation, both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee believed there wasn’t any direct evidence of collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. While NBC News reported that “investigators disagree along party lines when it comes to the implications of a pattern of contacts they have documented between Trump associates and Russians,” both sides seem to agree no solid proof exists there was a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Second, former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe confirmed to CBS News that the Justice Department talked about removing President Trump under the 25th Amendment — and seemed to justify it because he thought that the president could have colluded with Russia.
“Soon after speaking to President Trump about the firing of his boss James Comey, Andrew McCabe, who became the bureau’s acting director, began obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigations involving the president and his ties to Russia,” CBS News reported.
“In his first television interview since his own firing, McCabe tells ’60 Minutes” Scott Pelley he wanted those inquiries to be documented and underway so they would be difficult to quash without raising scrutiny.”
But that wasn’t all. McCabe confirmed that there were discussions about having the president removed from office.
“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,” Pelley told “CBS This Morning” on Thursday.
“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.”
The full “60 Minutes” interview airs Sunday and we’ll get a better idea of just how deep the treachery goes with this one, but we also divine a pretty good reason why he and others at the Justice Department thought removing an elected president from office was a good idea: Russophobia.
“I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency and just won the election for the presidency. And who might have done so with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage,” McCabe said when asked about a phone call with Trump about the firing of FBI Director James Comey. “And that was something that troubled me greatly.”
If McCabe had any evidence justifying the idea that Trump won the election because of “the aid of the government of Russia,” it wasn’t burnished in the clips we saw. Nor, in fact, has it been proved in any of the multifarious probes we’ve seen thus far. Either way, to liberal Harvard law professor and constitutional scholar Alan Dershowitz, what McCabe is describing sounds a lot more sinister than what most of the media is portraying.
“Well, if that’s true, it is clearly an attempted coup d’état,” Dershowitz told Tucker Carlson.
“Let’s assume the president of the United States was in bed with the Russians, committed treason and obstruction of justice,” Dershowitz said. “The 25th Amendment simply is irrelevant to that. That’s why you have an impeachment provision. The 25th Amendment is about Woodrow Wilson having a stroke. It’s about a president being shot and not being able to perform his office. It’s not about the most fundamental disagreements. It’s not about impeachable offenses. Any Justice Department official who even mentioned the 25th Amendment in the context of President Trump has committed a grievous offense against the Constitution.”
“And the 25th Amendment is as clear as could be: incapacity, unable to perform in office,” he continued. “That’s what you need. That’s why you need two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate agreeing, and it has to be on the basis of a medical or psychological incapacity. Not on the basis of even the most extreme crimes, which there is no evidence.
“But even if they were, that would not be a basis for invoking the 25th Amendment. And I challenge any left-wing person to get on television and to defend the use of the 25th Amendment. I challenge any of my colleagues who are in the ‘get Trump at any cost’ camp to come on television and justify the use of the 25th Amendment other than for physical or psychiatric incapacity.”
The genesis of the 25th Amendment is primarily about health. It was ratified in the 1960s after considering the health challenges faced by several presidents — most recently, at that point, Dwight Eisenhower.
You can’t just remove a president because you feel like it, in other words. If there was Russian collusion, there’s an impeachment option. But leftists don’t like that because, well, they don’t have the votes. Even if they manage to impeach the president, without proof of conspiracy or other high crimes and misdemeanors, they don’t have the votes in the Senate.
But even after that, take a look at McCabe’s reason why he took this unprecedented action — the perfidious Russians. He seems convinced Trump was, in some way, the Muscovite candidate. The Senate Intelligence Committee, however, hasn’t found any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia. Robert Mueller’s report is still to come, but if he’s going to find something the Senate didn’t, we certainly didn’t hear about it. In other words, the entire pretext for this was false.
But this is hardly the first time we’ve seen something like this. Between James Comey, Peter Strzok and the Trump dossier being used for a FISA warrant, we’ve seen enough questionable swampy activity to fill the Everglades. Leftists love talking about Trump eroding norms. Meanwhile, the former acting director of the FBI talks about the DOJ considering using the 25th Amendment to remove an elected president and it hardly even surprises anyone.
This is what’s so dangerous about McCabe’s revelations. We’ll find out more on Sunday, but what we know is already damning. After all, if this isn’t an attempted soft coup, what the heck is it?
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