James Baker, the former top lawyer for the FBI, testified that officials had a “list” of options in dealing with President Trump following then-FBI Director James Comey’s firing. The list reportedly included wearing a wire or invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
The revelation was made during the second day of testimony by Baker regarding the Russia probe in October. House Republicans released a transcript of the shocking statements on Tuesday.
On the first day of Baker’s testimony, a day which one lawmaker described as “explosive,” he insisted that outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s reported idea to record the President and use the evidence to push Trump out of office was quite serious.
The bombshell report also claimed he had “discussed recruiting cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Mr. Trump from office for being unfit.”
Rosenstein famously responded by saying the comments were made in jest, a sarcastic response to McCabe for suggesting he investigate the President.
Baker’s day two testimony countered that claim and further fleshed out details of what had been discussed by Rosenstein, McCabe, and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) April 9, 2019
Wearing a Wire
According to the transcript, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) asked Baker to give him insight into the conversations that took place between Rosenstein, McCabe, and Page.
“There are these — some number of conversations with the Deputy Attorney General about what to do next, what needs to be done,” Baker stated, “and my recollection is numerous topics were discussed, and these [25th Amendment/wire] were among them.”
The FBI’s James Baker’s congressional testimony also reveals Peter Strzok & Lisa Page believed Rod Rosenstein was serious about wearing a wire into the White House and that two Cabinet members were on board with invoking the 25th Amendment against Trump…https://t.co/QDKoAUGrV5
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) April 9, 2019
“It was a very, very challenging and stressful and tumultuous time,” Baker said of the aftermath of Comey’s firing.
25th Amendment on a List
Baker made another startling admission. Not just that invoking the 25th Amendment was an option, but that it, and the secret wire-wearing had been just two options on a list of how to take down the President.
“The wearing the wire and the 25th Amendment were one of a list, one or two of a list of things that we were going — that people were going through to try to figure out what to do,” the former top Counsel testified.
Baker made it clear that Rosenstein’s claims to have been joking were false.
He stated Rosenstein was “upset” and that this was “not a joking sort of time” but a “pretty dark” one.
Baker added that at least two cabinet members in the Trump administration were reportedly open to the notion.
“The 25th Amendment conversation, my understanding was that there was a conversation in which it was said, I believe by [Rosenstein], that there were – that there were two members of the cabinet who were willing to go down this road already.”
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) April 9, 2019
The comments sync with John Solomon’s report for The Hill which said these options amounted to “a real plan being discussed” and something that “was no laughing matter for the FBI.”
Attorney General William Barr testified on Wednesday that he thought spying on the Trump campaign had taken place and that he viewed it as a “pretty big deal.”
“I think spying on a political campaign — it’s a big deal, it’s a big deal,” Barr said when asked why he was looking into what started the Russia collusion probe.
“I think spying did occur,” he added.
“There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things,” President Trump said in an interview with Jonathan Karl weeks ago. “I would say treasonous things against our country.”
Rosenstein, McCabe, Page, and members of Trump’s own Cabinet should be facing extra scrutiny, if not an outright investigation, in order to find out who did these terrible things to take down a President the American people elected.