McCabe’s Story, If True, Describes Coup Attempt on Trump, Harvard Constitutional Scholar Says

February 15, 2019 Updated: February 15, 2019

Andrew McCabe’s acknowledgment of a discussion on the use of 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump is tantamount to a coup plot, according to constitutional scholar and former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

By McCabe’s own admission, he and other top FBI and Justice Department officials discussed on May 2017 whether they could get a majority of Trump’s cabinet behind the idea to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

“If that’s true, it’s clearly an attempted coup d’état,” Dershowitz told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Feb. 14.

McCabe, former FBI Deputy Director, tried to justify his position by the allegations that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia and that Trump may have obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey. After close to three years of multiple investigations the allegations haven’t been substantiated.

Yet Dershowitz pointed to a deeper problem—even if Trump were to commit crimes, “the 25th Amendment simply is irrelevant to that,” he said.

“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.”

He further explained that the amendment requires medical assessment and an agreement of two-thirds of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“It has to be on the basis of a medical or psychological incapacity,” he said. “Not on the basis of even the most extreme crimes, which there’s no evidence were committed.”

According to McCabe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was involved in the discussions on invoking the amendment. The Justice Department pushed back in a Feb. 14 statement:

“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 [deputy attorney general] in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies before the House Judiciary Committee about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russia's alleged election interference in 2016, in Washington
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifies before the House Judiciary Committee about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s alleged election interference in 2016, in Washington on Dec. 13, 2017. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Rosenstein had a strong incentive to distance himself from McCabe’s remarks, Dershowitz’s assessment suggests.

“Any Justice Department official who even mentioned the 25th Amendment in the context of President Trump has committed a grievous offense against the Constitution,” he said.

“The framers of the 25th Amendment had in mind something very specific and trying to use the 25th Amendment to circumvent the impeachment provision or to circumvent an election is a despicable act of unconstitutional power grabbing.”

Investigator Investigated

McCabe played a key role in the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign that officially started in late July 2016, in the midst of the presidential election season.

The investigation was tainted with bias and potential abuse of surveillance powers. Text messages between then-FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and his mistress, then-bureau attorney Lisa Page, demonstrated hatred toward Trump and support for Hillary Clinton. Page served as legal counsel for McCabe.

McCabe personally reviewed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application for a warrant to spy on former Trump-campaign associate Carter Page. The bureau applied for the warrant using an unverified dossier of opposition research on Trump. The dossier was compiled by a former British spy and ultimately paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

“Disgraced FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe pretends to be a ‘poor little Angel’ when in fact he was a big part of the Crooked Hillary Scandal & the Russia Hoax–a puppet for Leakin’ James Comey. I.G. report on McCabe was devastating,” Trump wrote in a Feb. 14 tweet.

McCabe was fired from the FBI on March 16, based on the findings of the Justice Department’s Inspector General (IG) that he leaked information to the press to boost himself and then lied about it to his boss and investigators.

As of September 2018, a federal grand jury in Washington started investigating McCabe’s leaks, according to The Washington Post.

Epoch Times staff member Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab