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 CoonsTrump's push for win with Sudan amps up pressure on Congress  Murkowski: Supreme Court nominee should not be taken up before election Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (D-Del.) said Sunday that former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeJudge will not dismiss McCabe's case against DOJ Graham: Comey to testify about FBI's Russia probe, Mueller declined invitation Barr criticizes DOJ in speech declaring all agency power 'is invested in the attorney general' MORE's comments that Justice Department officials raised a plan to potentially remove President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal prosecutor speaks out, says Barr 'has brought shame' on Justice Dept. Former Pence aide: White House staffers discussed Trump refusing to leave office Progressive group buys domain name of Trump's No. 1 Supreme Court pick 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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 RosensteinDOJ kept investigators from completing probe of Trump ties to Russia: report Five takeaways from final Senate Intel Russia report FBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book 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.