Report: Rosenstein Wanted to Record, Oust Trump

But deputy attorney general denies 'New York Times' report about 25th Amendment
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2018 1:21 PM CDT
Report: Rosenstein Wanted to Record, Oust Trump
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The New York Times is out with quite a story: It says Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein proposed secretly recording President Trump last year and using the recordings to have Trump ousted from office. Rosenstein, however, flatly denies it, calling the story "inaccurate and factually incorrect" in a statement. “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." The Times story says that during the chaotic spring of 2017, Rosenstein floated his idea to members of the Justice Department and the FBI and suggested recruiting Cabinet members to go along with the idea of having the president deemed unfit for office and removed under the 25th Amendment. His remarks are documented in memos written by former acting FBI chief Andrew McCabe.

One unnamed member of the Justice Department who was present at a meeting when Rosenstein talked about wearing a wire says through a department spokesperson that the deputy attorney general was being sarcastic. But others tell the newspaper that Rosenstein was not only serious, he suggested that candidates to replace the newly fired James Comey as FBI chief could record Trump during their interviews. In his statement, Rosenstein said he wanted to be clear about one big point: "Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.” The story says Rosenstein soured on Trump early in his tenure when the president fired Comey and then used a memo that Rosenstein wrote criticizing Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton email controversy as justification. (More Rod Rosenstein stories.)

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