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Graham vows to hold hearing on McCabe's "stunning" 25th Amendment comments

CBS News logo CBS News 2/17/2019 Emily Tillett
Lindsey Graham wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: graham-sot-persuasive-1784532-640x360.jpg © CBS News graham-sot-persuasive-1784532-640x360.jpg

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he will hold a hearing about comments made by former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe about an apparent discussion of the possibility of using the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office.

In an interview with "60 Minutes" set to air Sunday evening, McCabe said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein raised the issue shortly after the firing of FBI Director James Comey in 2017. The 25th Amendment provides a process for removing a president who is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

McCabe told "60 Minutes" that Rosenstein "raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort."

Transcript: Sen. Lindsey Graham on "Face the Nation," February 17, 2019What Andrew McCabe told "60 Minutes" about Trump and the 25th Amendment

"The whole point of Congress existing is to provide oversight of the executive branch," Graham said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "So through good reporting by '60 Minutes,' there's an allegation by the acting FBI director at the time that the deputy attorney general was basically trying to do an administrative coup, take the president down to the 25th Amendment process. The deputy attorney general denies it. So I promise your viewers the following, that we will have a hearing about who's telling the truth, what actually happened."

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He added, "I'm going to do everything I can to get to the bottom of the Department of Justice FBI behavior toward President Trump and his campaign."

McCabe, who was heavily criticized by a DOJ inspector general report last year for "lacking candor" on multiple occasions in conversations with federal investigators, was slammed by Republicans for his comments to "60 Minutes" about the president. Shortly after portions of McCabe's interview with "60 Minutes" aired, President Trump claimed McCabe was a part of the Russian interference "hoax" and that he acted as a "puppet" for Comey.

McCabe's spokesperson, Melissa Schwartz, later said in a statement to CBS News that "at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions."

Graham called the idea of invoking the 25th Amendment "beyond stunning."

"I know he's selling a book, and we need to take with a grain of salt maybe what Mr. McCabe is telling us. But he went on national television and he made an accusation that floors me," said Graham. 

Asked if he would be willing to subpoena McCabe and Rosenstein to testify before his committee, Graham responded, "How can I not?"

He said the only way to find out the truth "is to call the people in under oath and find out through questioning."

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