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 CoonsThe United States broken patent system is getting worse Biden faces scrutiny for his age from other Democrats Democrats press FBI for details on Kavanaugh investigation MORE (D-Del.) said Sunday that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe Hill's Morning Report — Will Congress do anything on gun control? McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing McCabe says it's 'absolutely' time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump MORE's comments that Justice Department officials raised a plan to potentially remove President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump 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 (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report 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 RosensteinWhy the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing Rosenstein: Trump should focus on preventing people from 'becoming violent white supremacists' 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.