Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein, along with other Department of Justice (DOJ) officials, plotted a political assassination of President Trump. Listen closely so you can hear the mainstream media’s crickets.
Former FBI acting Director McCabe confessed on 60 Minutes and elsewhere that he and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein discussed ousting the president in May 2017, even going so far as contemplating Rosenstein’s wearing a wire to capture the words of the president regarding his reason for firing Comey. Their weapon for ousting the duly elected president: the 25th Amendment to the Constitution.
The limited media comments expose a dreadful ignorance of the law. A collective ho-hum was the response to McCabe’s claim that Trump’s firing Comey triggered the investigation. Some commentators, such as CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, even claim to have a law degree. They must have skipped constitutional law class. The president has Article II authority to fire anyone in the executive branch for any reason or for no reason. Whatever President Trump stated regarding his firing of Comey — and he has provided numerous reasons — has no legal significance whatsoever.
Worse, the media seem unable to comprehend the plain meaning of the 25th Amendment, which has three purposes. First, to designate who succeeds the president in case of death or resignation, which is clearly not at issue here. The second, to provide the process of succession when the president “transmits” in writing to the House and Senate that he “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” is also irrelevant. (RELATED: Toensing: Why Did Christopher Wray Allow Mueller’s Thugs To Use 29 FBI Agents On Roger Stone?)
The third purpose provides a process for removing the president when the “vice-president and a majority” of the Cabinet deem the president “unable to discharge his powers and duties.” Its history reflects the framers’ desire to address the type of concerns that arose when President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke or when President Ronald Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt. It has nothing to do with a president’s intent for firing personnel.
“Any Justice Department official who even mentioned the 25th Amendment in the context of President Trump has committed a grievous offense against the Constitution,” asserted former Harvard Law School professor (and Clinton supporter) Alan Dershowitz while pointing out that the 25th Amendment is not a constitutionally-valid substitute for impeachment.
“Trying to use the 25th Amendment to circumvent impeachment provisions or to circumvent an election is a despicable act of unconstitutional power-grabbing,” he added, describing the plot as “an attempt at a coup d’etat.” (RELATED: How Did The Wife Of A Mueller Protege End Up Hearing Mueller’s Case?)
That view isn’t shared by Toobin, whose ability to analyze the law correctly is hampered by his hatred of Trump. Toobin praised the aborted plot to oust the president as “patriotic.” Ignoring the misdeeds of former Obama appointees John Brennan, Jim Clapper, and Sally Yates in framing candidate Trump with the fake dossier, Toobin gives plotters McCabe and Rosenstein a pass because they were not “Democratic political appointees.”
A Washington Post reporter, Philip Bump, whose degree is in philosophy, should not be opining about the law or constitution. But he did, writing that the president should not complain because the plot would have likely failed.
There is a reason conspiracies to violate the law are illegal. It is to convict persons when the crime does not come to fruition. One does not have to have a legal background to understand the 25th Amendment — any journalist should be able to do so. Not Bump. He considers removing Trump by misusing (my word not his) the 25th Amendment no different from voting for someone else in 2020.
MSNBC commentator Joe Scarborough also sports a law degree, but he must have missed history class. Scarborough states that the president’s 90-minute press conference announcing the national emergency on the southern border is a basis for the vice-president and Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, claiming that “If any of the 44 presidents had behaved that way then those questions would have been raised.”
Does he not know of President Lyndon Johnson conversing with people while sitting on the toilet? Now that’s bizarre behavior.
The silence of the MSM about the plot to oust President Trump is deafening. Their ignorance is embarrassing. And dangerous.
Victoria Toensing (@VicToensing), founding partner of Washington D.C. law firm diGenova & Toensing, LLP, was deputy assistant attorney general, U.S. Department of Justice, and chief counsel, U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.