James Baker, som var øverste juridske rådgiver i FBI, sa bak lukkede dører sist høst at visejustisminister Rod Rosenstein hadde betrodd ham at to medlmmer av Trumps regjering var villig til å delta for å få avsatt presidenten.
Denne forklaringen for justis- og kontrollkomiteen i Representantenes hus, bekrefter at det pågikk diskusjoner i Justis og FBI om det var mulig å få erklært presidenten uskikket etter grunnlovstillegg 25.
Baker navnga ikke de to statsrådene. Men han bevitnet at avsettelse av presidenten var tema i Justisdepartementet og FBI.
“I was being told by some combination of Andy McCabe and Lisa Page, that, in a conversation with the Deputy Attorney General, he had stated that he — this was what was related to me — that he had at least two members of the president’s Cabinet who were ready to support, I guess you would call it, an action under the 25th Amendment,” Baker told the committees.
Rod Rosenstein har benektet at det foregikk en slik diskusjon, men historien er nå bekreftet fra flere kilder. Nå FBIs nummer to Andrew MacCabe går på lufta i 60 Minutes søndag kveld, vil det komme fra en som var sentral aktør.
Baker sa MacCabe var utrolig fokusert akkurat på den tiden, som var rett etter at James Comey var avsatt som FBI-sjef og han rykket opp som utøvede midlertidig sjef.
Justisdepartementet meddelte på vegne av Rosenstein at han tar avstand fra påstandene, nå som før.
Rosenstein vil gå av i løpet av to ukers tid.
Hvem var de to statsrådene som ville hjelpe til å få Trump avsatt?
“I had the impression that the deputy attorney general had already discussed this with two members in the president’s Cabinet and that they were…onboard with this concept already,” Baker said.
During the closed-door hearing, the former FBI lawyer told lawmakers he could not say whether Rosenstein was taking the initiative to seek out Cabinet members:
Question: “Do you know what direction that went? Was it Mr. Rosenstein seeking out members of the Cabinet looking to pursue this 25th Amendment approach or was it the other way around?”
Baker: “What I recall being said was that the Deputy Attorney General had two members of the Cabinet. So he – how they came to be had, I don’t know, but…”
Question: “So he had two members, almost like he was taking the initiative and getting the members?”
Baker: “That would be speculation on my part.”
Baker also said he did not know the names of the two Cabinet officials.
“Lisa and Andy did not tell me, and my impression was they didn’t know themselves,” he said.ra
Men da New York Times brakte historien i september, mente de å vite at det var justisminister Jeff Sessions og den gang minister for Homeland Security, John Kelly.
Republikanere i Justiskomiteen i både Representantenes hus og Senatet gikk torsdag inn for at Rosenstein og McCabe måtte forklare seg for Kongressen.
Rosenstein har sagt at forslaget om å bære avlyttingsutstyr i møter med Trump, var ironisk ment. Baker sier det var ingen som spøkte på den tiden. Stemningen var dyster.
Fox News has reported, based on a source who was in the meeting, that Rosenstein’s «wire» comments were viewed as «sarcastic.» But Baker testified that it was taken seriously.
Baker testified in October that the alleged discussions took place during an uncertain and anxious time at the FBI and DOJ after Comey’s termination, and that the mood was “pretty dark»:
Question: “Did people tell you that the DAG (Deputy Attorney General) was upset?”
Question: “Did they tell you that he was making jokes?”
Question: “Did they tell you that…”
Baker: “This was not a joking sort of time. This was pretty dark.”