“Former top FBI lawyer James Baker, in closed-door testimony to Congress, detailed alleged discussions among senior officials at the Justice Department about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office, claiming he was told Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said two Trump Cabinet officials were “ready to support” such an effort.
(…) Baker did not identify the two Cabinet officials. But in his testimony, the lawyer said McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page came to him to relay their conversations with Rosenstein, including discussions of the 25th Amendment.
“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.
The 25th Amendment provides a mechanism for removing a sitting president from office. One way that could happen is if a majority of the president’s Cabinet says the president is incapable of discharging his duties.
Rosenstein, who still works at the Justice Department but who is expected to exit in the near future, has denied the claims since they first surfaced in the media last year.
Fox News requested further comment from the parties involved. Lawyers for Baker and McCabe declined comment, as did an FBI spokesperson.
(…) In his testimony, Baker said of McCabe’s state of mind: “At this point in time, Andy was unbelievably focused and unbelievably confident and squared away. I don’t know how to describe it other than I was extremely proud to be around him at that point in time because I thought he was doing an excellent job at maintaining focus and dealing with a very uncertain and difficult situation. So I think he was in a good state of mind at this point in time.”
(…) During his testimony, Baker acknowledged he was not directly involved in the May 2017 discussions but testified over a two-day period in October that McCabe and Page came to him contemporaneously after meeting with Rosenstein for input in the days after Comey was fired by the president.
(…) As Fox News has previously reported, the eight days in May 2017 between Comey’s firing and appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller were seen as a major turning point in the Russia probe, which has also involved examining whether the president obstructed justice.
“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:
(…) 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.
But when the New York Times broke the story in September, it reported that Rosenstein told McCabe he might be able to persuade then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-Secretary of Homeland Security and later White House chief of staff John Kelly to invoke the 25th Amendment.” (Read more: Fox News, 2/17/2019)