Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was only on the job for a couple weeks last spring when he began suggesting that he secretly record President Trump and whip up support among cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment, the New York Times reports.
Rosenstein made the suggestions in the aftermath of former FBI Director James Comey’s firing, telling other Justice Department and F.B.I. officials that he believed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John Kelly could be convinced to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office.
The Times reports that Rosenstein made the suggestions in a meeting with Andrew McCabe and other Justice Department officials. They came amid complaints about the disorganized search for Comey’s replacement and Rosenstein’s concern over Trump’s erratic behavior.
Mr. Rosenstein then raised the idea of wearing a recording device or “wire,” as he put it, to secretly tape the president when he visited the White House. One participant asked whether Mr. Rosenstein was serious, and he replied animatedly that he was.
If not him, then Mr. McCabe or other F.B.I. officials interviewing with Mr. Trump for the job could perhaps wear a wire or otherwise record the president, Mr. Rosenstein offered. White House officials never checked his phone when he arrived for meetings there, Mr. Rosenstein added, implying it would be easy to secretly record Mr. Trump.
In a statement to the Times, Rosenstein denied making the story. “The New York Times’s story is inaccurate and factually incorrect,” he said. “I will not further comment on a story based on anonymous sources who are obviously biased against the department and are advancing their own personal agenda. But let me be clear about this: Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”