Published: Tue, September 25, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Rosenstein spoke of possible secret Trump taping

Rosenstein spoke of possible secret Trump taping

The report detailed Rosenstein discussing secretly recording Trump to expose chaos in the White House and recruiting members of the president's cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, which would remove the president from office for being unfit.

The newspaper said the deputy attorney general had been responding to Andrew McCabe's suggestion that the justice department investigate the president. Republicans filed impeachment articles against Rosenstein because he did not recuse himself from the probe of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 election, even though he had signed an application to conduct electronic surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser.

The 25th Amendment stipulates that if the vice president and a majority of cabinet officials declared to Congress that the president is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office", the vice president assumes those powers and duties as acting president.

Lieu's comments followed the New York Times' bombshell report Friday afternoon detailing comments Rosenstein reportedly made early in Trump's presidency.

McCabe's memos memorialized Rosenstein's proposition, which was made soon after FBI Director James B. Comey was sacked by Trump.

Rosenstein issued a statement to deny the allegations reported by the Times.

"We have great people in the Department of Justice. but we have some real bad ones", Trump said.

"But there's a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of that too", Trump added.

The White House initially held up that memo as justification for Mr Comey's firing, though Mr Trump has said he was thinking about "this Russian Federation thing" when he made the move.

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Given Mr Rosenstein's position overseeing Robert Mueller and the Russian Federation probe, any move against him by the president would be fraught with political peril.

Mr McCabe's lawyer, Michael Bromwich, said that his client had drafted memos to "memorialise significant discussions he had with high level officials and preserved them so he would have an accurate, contemporaneous record of those discussions". Individuals within the West Wing believe the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's team pushed the story to create political consequences for Trump, according to Politico.

The Justice Department's rules of succession dictate that the solicitor general, Noel Francisco, is next in line to take over for Rosenstein. Rosenstein believed he would be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to sign on, according to the sources. That person's identity is unknown to journalists in the Times news department.

30 May 2018 - USA media report that Mr McCabe handed over a confidential memo on Mr Comey's firing - which reportedly details his conversation with Mr Rosenstein - to the special counsel.

Rosenstein issued a second statement not long after the president spoke.

The saga features two of the president's biggest targets for public criticism, McCabe and Rosenstein, both of whom he blames for an investigation he calls a "witch hunt". "This underscores why the President should be relying on the expertise and advice of intelligence and law enforcement professionals, not cable news hosts", Warner told Reuters via email.

Reports from other media agencies said Rosenstein's suggestions were jokes and were said sarcastically.

Rosenstein initiated discussions about the U.S. Constitution's 25th Amendment, the Times and Post reported. Another Republican close to the White House said in an interview that the communications director, Bill Shine, wanted to gather more information before taking an aggressive stance on Rosenstein. In a statement, the deputy attorney general called the story "inaccurate and factually incorrect" and said sources behind it were "advancing their own personal agenda".

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