Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham announced Friday the panel will investigate alleged discussions between high-ranking Justice Department officials about invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.
Graham, R-S.C., penned a letter Friday to Attorney General William Barr, requesting documentation of the discussions which allegedly involved Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is set to leave the Justice Department shortly, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and others.
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“The Committee is deeply concerned with these discussions and whether they essentially indicate that two of the highest ranking law enforcement officials in the United States were discussing what amounts to a coup against the President,” Graham wrote to Barr. “Accordingly, the Committee plans to conduct oversight into these discussions and related matters.”
The alleged conversation took place on May 16, 2017, at Justice Department headquarters, Fox News reported in September. Sources told Fox News that McCabe, Rosenstein and former FBI counsel Lisa Page, among others, were in the room.
Rosenstein, who was tasked with oversight of the Russia investigation after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal, reportedly told McCabe that he might be able to persuade Sessions and then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to begin proceedings to invoke the 25th Amendment.
The 25th Amendment includes a section allowing the vice president and a majority of Cabinet members to declare a president “unable” to perform the job.
Last month, McCabe, as part of a media blitz to promote his new book, mentioned the controversy in an interview with CBS News. He said that Rosenstein discussed the 25th Amendment option in a manner that was “absolutely serious,” and offered to wear a wire to record Trump.
McCabe’s spokeswoman, however, said McCabe did not participate “in any extended discussions” on the issue.
“He was present and participated in a discussion that included a comment by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein regarding the 25th Amendment,” McCabe spokeswoman Melissa Schwartz said last month.
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Rosenstein, as he did when the controversy first surfaced, largely denied the allegations.
“The Deputy Attorney General never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references. As the Deputy Attorney General previously has stated, based on his personal dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment,” a spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Graham requested all documents and communications to “show the names, titles, and business addresses of all personnel who participated in any meeting” with Rosenstein and McCabe between May 9, 2017—the day former FBI Director James Comey was fired—and May 17, 2017—the day Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel.
Graham gave Barr a deadline of March 29 to comply with the document requests.
Graham’s request comes after House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., last month urged Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to call McCabe and Rosenstein to testify before the committee.
Fox News’ Mike Emanuel and Gregg Re contributed to this report.