“I wanted to make sure that our case was on solid ground and if somebody came in behind me and closed it and tried to walk away from it, they would not be able to do that without creating a record of why they made that decision,” McCabe told Scott Pelley on “CBS This Morning” in an interview that aired Thursday.
McCabe also confirmed for the first time publicly that there were high-level discussions at the Justice Department about recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office in the aftermath of Comey’s firing and speculating about which Cabinet members could be on board with the idea.
McCabe told Pelley that the day after Comey’s firing and after meeting with Trump in the Oval Office, “I met with the team investigating the Russia cases and I asked the team to go back and conduct an assessment to determine where are we with these efforts and what steps do we need to take going forward.”
“I was very concerned that I was able to put the Russia case on absolutely solid ground in an indelible fashion that, were I removed quickly or reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace,” said McCabe, who is promoting his forthcoming book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.”
In a statement to CBS, the White House called McCabe’s investigation “completely baseless.”
Trump heralded McCabe’s firing, calling it a “great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI – A great day for Democracy.”
Conversations about removing Trump from office
According to Pelley on Thursday, McCabe confirmed this on the record. This segment of the interview was not aired Thursday morning.
“These were the eight days from Comey’s firing to the point that Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. And the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what to do with the President,” Pelley said, adding that people involved were “counting noses,” but instead speculating which Cabinet officials may be on board with the idea.
The bombshell revelation in September prompted Rosenstein to take the remarkable step of denying the report in two separate statements, saying “based on my personal dealings with the President, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”
CNN’s Laura Jarrett contributed to this report.