If former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe is telling the truth with his claims that officials in the Department of Justice discussed using the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office, that could be considered be an attempted "coup d'état," Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said Thursday.
McCabe confirmed for the first time in a CBS interview 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 former FBI Director James Comey's firing.
The discussions also included speculation about which Cabinet members could be on board with the idea, McCabe said in an interview with CBS's Scott Pelley for "60 Minutes" that will be aired on Sunday.
McCabe, who was fired from the FBI last March, also said he ordered an investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice as a way to preserve ongoing inquiries into Russian election meddling in case there was an effort to terminate them.
“The 25th amendment is about Woodrow Wilson having a stroke," Dershowitz told Fox News' Tucker Carlson. "It’s about a president being shot and not being able to perform his office. It’s not about the most fundamental disagreements. It’s not about impeachable offenses."
He added that if any Justice Department official mentioned the amendment in connection with Trump, that person has "committed a grievous offense against the Constitution."
Trump quoted Dershowitz in a tweet, after the retired professor told Carlson that "trying to use the 25th Amendment to try and circumvent an election is a despicable act of unconstitutional power grabbing...which happens in third world countries. You have to obey the law. This is an attack on our system & Constitution.”
The amendment was adopted in 1967, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and Dershowitz said its provisions are clear.
"That's why you need two-thirds of the House and two-thirds of the Senate agreeing, and it has to be on the basis of medical or psychological incapacity, and not on the basis of even the most extreme crimes which there is no evidence were committed," said Dershowitz. "But even if they were, that would not be a basis for invoking the 25th Amendment."
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