Senate Dem: 25th Amendment talks don't reflect 'some deep state conspiracy'

Senate Dem: 25th Amendment talks don't reflect 'some deep state conspiracy'
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate Dem calls on Trump to apologize for attacks on McCain Sixteen years later, let's finally heed the call of the 9/11 Commission  Senate Dems introduce bill demanding report on Khashoggi killing MORE (D-Del.) said Sunday that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Graham says he'll probe Rosenstein's 25th Amendment remarks The damning proof of innocence that FBI likely withheld in Russian probe MORE's comments that Justice Department officials raised a plan to potentially remove President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE from office deserve scrutiny, but rejected the remarks as evidence of a "deep state conspiracy."

"It is alarming that there were apparently folks at the highest levels of our government considering whether or not our president is unfit to serve," Coons said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

"I don't think that this, frankly, rises to the level of some deep state conspiracy or a serious attempt at what Sen. [Lindsey] Graham [R-S.C.] called an administrative coup," he continued. "I suspect that once this is fully discussed, it'll be clearer that this was a brief or passing conversation that's been taken out of context. But it does deserve scrutiny."

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Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emphasized the need to allow special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE to complete his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, adding that it would be appropriate to seek more information on what sparked to the start of that probe.

McCabe said in a "60 Minutes" interview set to air Sunday evening that there were conversations among Justice Department officials raising the possibility of removing Trump via the 25th Amendment, and that Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain Rosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Graham says he'll probe Rosenstein's 25th Amendment remarks MORE had offered to wear a wire around the president.

The Justice Department issued a statement in response, reiterating Rosenstein's denial of the claim, which the deputy attorney general called "inaccurate and factually incorrect."

The discussions had previously been reported by The New York Times.

McCabe, who was fired from the FBI after an internal report found he lacked candor with investigators, has since walked back his remarks. A spokesperson issued a statement that McCabe did not "participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions." 

Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he intends to subpoena McCabe and Rosenstein to testify before the panel about the 25th Amendment conversations if they won't agree to do so voluntarily.