February 19, 2019

FIRST, IN BREAKING NEWS: Coming on the heels of Andrew McCabe’s 60 MINUTES interview on Sunday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is expected to leave the Justice Department by mid-March. Gosh, apparently he’s not the person new Attorney General Bill Barr wants as his second-in-command. One can only hope this is just the first step he’s taking in cleaning out a Justice Department that Kim Strassel of the Wall Street Journal describes as “a hot mess of finger-pointing, leaks, planted press narratives, obstruction and extraordinary self-righteousness.”



In my most recent commentary about the McCabe interview, I mentioned that former FBI General Counsel James Baker testified last fall that he’d been told Rosenstein had the support of two Cabinet members for the removal of Trump via the 25th Amendment. Some media outlets have mentioned this bit of information as they would say “please pass the butter,” but it’s stunning, especially when one is reminded of who the two Cabinet members reportedly were. So it was important to me to go back and research the timeline on what was reported, when it was said, and by whom, and to lay it out in an easily understandable way, so here goes…

RELATED READING: McCabe follow-up now that 60 MINUTES has aired

The New York Times reported last September 21 that, according to their sources, not only had Rosenstein talked about invoking the 25th Amendment, but he had said he thought he could persuade at least two Cabinet members to do it: John Kelly, then head of Homeland Security, and...JEFF SESSIONS. (Recall that Sessions hired Rosenstein.) That seems like blockbuster news, but, then again, it came from the NYT, which has jumped on numerous reports that turned out to be wrong. Maybe that’s why that detail seems to have disappeared into the ether until now.


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But now, we know that last October 3 –- after the NYT story –- James Baker testified before Congressional committees, saying, “I had the impression that the deputy attorney general had already discussed this with two members in the President’s Cabinet and that they were...onboard with this concept already.” So that lends some credence to the NYT story. (As I like to say, even a broken clock is right twice a day.)


As part of his October 3 testimony, Baker also said, “My recollection is that there were discussions about it over a longer period than the course of one meeting...a couple of days.”


Last night on 60 MINUTES, McCabe said that Rosenstein was actually talking about “counting votes, or possible votes” of Cabinet members. He told Scott Pelley that Rosenstein had said he’d had discussions about the number of Cabinet members “and others” needed to invoke the 25th Amendment.


Of course, McCabe is not known for being a fountain of truth; he’s being criminally investigated for having withheld information from FBI questioners when it suited his interests. So we can’t just take what he says at face value, any more than we can automatically believe what we read in the New York Times. But the accounts are starting to stack up and tend to reinforce each other.


You know, I cringe at some of the President’s tweets, but when he responded to the McCabe interview by calling this activity “illegal and treasonous” and an “illegal coup attempt,” he was on the right track. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham, who is promising hearings into this to find out what they were doing and will issue subpoenas if necessary, has also said these claims described “an attempted bureaucratic coup” and that this was “one of the most significant moments in American history if it’s true.” I myself have called this a “bloodless coup.” There are other terms for it: “lawyers’ coup,” “soft coup.” In this case, they didn’t get it to the next level, but there are now enough accounts from enough different sources for us to conclude that they were definitely plotting at the highest levels to unseat the President.


And if –- IF –- these two then-Cabinet members, John Kelly and Jeff Sessions, are the ones who either might have been open to the idea or were already “onboard” with it (different accounts word it differently), we have to look at the implications. John Kelly, then head of Homeland Security, took the job with Trump to work in the White House as chief of staff. That would have put him in quite a position to find a “weak spot” to use in taking down the President. And Jeff Sessions...well, knowing he might have been open to a plan such as this –- and, repeat, WE DON’T KNOW FOR SURE –- would explain a lot about his performance as attorney general.


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Rosenstein’s office released a strong denial, but it didn’t really deny much. As you might recall, we parsed it the other day, notably the part that used present-tense “is” instead of past-tense “was.” (Depends on what the definition of “is” is.) It also said he never AUTHORIZED making recordings, when he hasn’t been accused of that, just of talking about doing it.


After the 60 MINUTES interview aired, I asked the question, “How on earth does Rod Rosenstein still have his job?” Thankfully, it now appears the Era Of Rosenstein is over, but according to Victor Davis Hanson, speaking on Tucker Carlson’s show, it appears he had created a “pseudo-immunity,” based on the media-driven narrative that if Trump fired him, it was the same as tampering with the Mueller investigation. He pointed out what we’ve said, that Rosenstein and McCabe both were well aware that the 25th Amendment was limited to situations regarding incapacitation, as with Woodrow Wilson after his stroke and perhaps during the last week of FDR’s life. They knew it wasn’t for cases in which they had a President they simply disagreed with. Yet they were talking about overthrowing a duly-elected President.


Pelley conducted a ridiculously softball interview. As Hanson noted, there’s so much he could have asked –- about the “insurance policy,” for one thing –- that he never got close to. There was nothing about the FISA applications, either, that were made while Trump was still a candidate. If they did delve into such territory, it was edited out of the final interview. (Keep in mind that editing largely shapes these “news” interviews, positively or negatively. Don Hewitt once bragged that his editing of the Bill and Hillary Clinton “Gennifer Flowers” interview on 60 MINUTES got Bill the nomination.)


Hanson suggested something we’ve also discussed, that one possibility is the top echelon at the FBI expected Hillary to be elected and assumed they’d be rewarded for their efforts. Then Trump won. Ruh-roh! Since they’d had no grounds for opening their anti-Trump counterintelligence investigation, they thought, “Oh, (bleep)! How do we cover for this?”


Be sure and read Hanson’s comprehensive piece, “Autopsy Of A Dead Coup”:


If McCabe was fudging in the 60 MINUTES interview, it was likely in areas that would put him in more legal peril, such as the question of whether he had participated in the conversations about secret recordings, etc. He denied that he had. Remember, he currently is under criminal investigation for lying to FBI investigators.


One positive note, from Charles Lane of the Washington Post, is that we finally have what he calls a “full-fledged attorney general.” The Trump administration started out with Jeff Sessions, who immediately recused himself from all things Russia and essentially left the Justice Department in the hands of Rod Rosenstein. Trump certainly wanted Sessions gone, and Rosenstein as well, but any attempt by him to banish them would have been viewed by political opponents as “obstruction,” just as they had viewed Comey’s firing, even though all three richly deserved to be gone. After the midterms and Sessions’ departure, we had Matt Whitaker for a few months as a place-holder, and now we finally have a real, fully-functioning attorney general in Bill Barr.


Maybe we should nickname him “Crowbar,” now that Rosenstein has finally been pried out.



A postscript: Laura Ingraham on her show Monday night noted that for behavior that should be considered out of bounds and even treasonous, some in media are calling McCabe “a patriot.” Get ready; we’ll be hearing a lot more of this drivel. But she also visited with a couple of former FBI officials –- former FBI Assistant Director for Intel Kevin Brock and former deputy Assistant Director of Counterterrorism Terry Turchie –- who considered this behavior to be “egregious” and “a huge embarrassment” that manipulated people into thinking there might have been a legitimate reason for investigating Trump when there wasn’t. McCabe was portrayed as the victim, when he’s out there selling books and doing more damage.


To his credit, Turchie went even farther, saying the big problem is that the Democratic Party “turning harder and harder left” is “in itself a major national security risk.” (Thank you!!) We still don’t know who else was involved and whether there might still exist a group appointed by McCabe, etc., before they left. Who, ultimately, orchestrated this?


A must-watch interview if you haven’t seen it…



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Comments 1-25 of 74

  • Dennis Killeen

    02/23/2019 04:41 PM

    I still have an open issue with the republican committees and their laisse-faire attitude toward getting to the truth. Even Sen. Graham says I may subpoena Rosenstein to appear before congressional committee. Why not just subpoena him? Get on with it. This is why the repubs get in over their heads as they do not have the will to get the job done. Rosenstein will walk out the door and nothing will ever be done to get to the truth. Clapper, Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Rice all have lied and go unpunished. Don’t forget Obama lying about not knowing about Hillary’s email server, Benghazi started over a video and of course you can keep your insurance and your doctor.
    I want a Trump as AG and I am afraid Barr is not it. Time will tell, but it will be too late.

  • Amelia Little

    02/22/2019 04:40 PM

    The people who are essentially committing acts of treason against America whether these people at the top of the pyramid in government or the election commission/supervisor of FL and other states, should be FIRED, outright. You know, like in the private sector--a person who has committed an egregious acts against the company is fired. No compensation package, nothing beyond what was already received in salary and I suppose what is currently is his/her retirement account. This is what should have happened to mccabe, comey brannan, the FL election person, and now rosenstein. No big buck negotiations and payouts to get him to leave. Here's the door, don't let it hit you in the behind as you leave. And, the FL woman? NO WAY should she have been able to unretire herself. Good grief--she was committing voter fraud, I'm thinking that is a felony. I'm pretty sure that after 2 years with NOT ONE SCINTILLA of evidence of a Trump/Russia collusions, people who would whine that to disband the farcial kangaroo court could not POSSIBLY be called obstruction of justice. In fact all those on the panel and even periphery players should be fired, should be indicted, in prison for obstructing the US government themselves. It's funny that those who cry the loudest about comey's firing are those who were demanding his firing up til the time of the firing--which was done on the recommendation of none other than rosenstein. Wonder what his agenda was on that. All those demanding comey's firing beforehand should be deemed guilty of obstruction themselves.

  • Emmitt Luttrell

    02/21/2019 02:29 AM

    Why doesn't someone talk about Peter Comey being one of Clinton's attorneys for the past several years. He is James Comey's brother.

  • joseph orsini

    02/20/2019 06:06 PM

    BIG BROTHER!!! - CA state law REQUIRES cities to provide "affordable housing" - many are "out of compliance". See Sac Bee 2/19/19.

  • tommy perry

    02/20/2019 01:12 PM

    Very well written. Information that is never given by the fake press. Thank you ,Sir.

  • Donna Leroux

    02/20/2019 10:39 AM

    Mike, you are one I trust to tell the truth! I lived in Arkansas under your watch and now live in a state controlled by a nutty liberal woman. Please keep telling it like it is!

  • Louis Schmoll

    02/20/2019 09:38 AM

    Thank you Mr Huckbee, from the past Pickle Capital of the world, Atkins, Arkansas.

    I remember you giving a speech for a graduation Class in Atkins. We still have Picklefest the third weekend of May every year, come see us.

    You were our choice for President, but I believe Trump was the right choice. I wouldn’t wish the brutal attack he is experiencing on anyone. You are a very nice person and smart, but as we see the corruption come to light in D.C., we know it’s a job for a man that gives no quarter, that can get into the trenches and “root hog or die” fighter. I am glad you are helping him and giving voice to reason.

    We love Sarah and you.

  • Larry W Noland

    02/20/2019 09:26 AM

    Thank you Governor Huckabee for providing the daily newsletters and adding this comment. I watched the interviews on both 60 minutes and Laura Ingraham's show. Your article cleared up and clarified a lot of the information that was given out on those two shows. Keep up the great work. Your daughter does outstanding work as Press Secretary. Love her fire!!!!

  • K. Bruce Jones

    02/20/2019 09:01 AM

    Best summary I have read on this!

  • Melanie Springer

    02/20/2019 04:53 AM

    I’m beyond angry as we have watched through out the entire HORRIBLE 8 yrs of Obama tear this country apart, starting a racial divide. Watching him invite BLM TO OUR WHITE HOUSE.
    I’m angry he allowed sanctuary cities and states. I’m angry that 1.4 billion BILLIONinCASH on skids sent to IRAN I about chit when I saw the picture in a c130.
    I will support our Great President all the way God bless him and our country the fight is on

  • Sandra Shoun

    02/20/2019 01:06 AM

    Another article suggested the two cabinet officials who were onboard with the coup were Kelly and Coats. But then, there are so many speculations about everything Trump. McCabe, Rosenstein, and Comey need to be charged and spend time in prison. I'm hopeful the Republicans will pounce, capture, and incarcerate all involved in this attempt to overthrow the President. This is a national horror and those involved should be held accountable, not brushed over.

  • Elaine Sobreira

    02/19/2019 11:51 PM

    Great piece !!!! I would love to know if anything is being done with the FISA court individuals.....Have they been questioned ? What will happen to the people who presented the Steele report to the court.....Who in the Clinton group thought of, put together, etc. the idea of Russian dossier.

  • bigbadjohn

    02/19/2019 11:48 PM

    They need to take action from the dems play book. Indict someone and offer a BIG plea deal if they sing on the others.
    When one falls it will be like a row of dominoes. Hang on to your hat!!!!

  • Senior Lee

    02/19/2019 10:21 PM

    I believe Sessions was under threat from some partisan power mad FBI and Justice Dept. officials. I hope new AG locks all of them up.

  • Doug Morgan

    02/19/2019 09:26 PM

    Governor, I appreciate your research and providing a reliable source of the news. However, as I've said before, We can read your truth and agree with it 100% but nothing happens to the swamp rats. Lindsay can threaten an investigation into the "bureaucratic coup" but that is all it will amount to. A lot of hot air from the Republican'ts. (I will give them credit and praise for confirmation of two constitutional justices on the SCOTUS.) They will look into an already know set of facts, give a few interviews on FoxNews about how corrupt the Left is but that is as far as it will go.

  • Genevieve Bailey

    02/19/2019 07:58 PM

    OK, so when do all these people go to prison along with all their cronies ???? Way past time. Everyday it seems that there is some new "revelation", but nothing seems to be done about it. Really sick of all the government corruption. We aren't a third world country.

  • Reissa Reedy

    02/19/2019 07:38 PM

    Didn’t they (who is this they?) try to and did get NSA director out? Then, they went after the AG, but did not succeed in getting him out completely, but he was advised to avoid anything Russia. Whoever started the Russia stuff was trying to cover up a lot.

  • P Richards

    02/19/2019 07:36 PM

    I have had a feeling that sessions was not on trumps team even during the campaign . I wonder how much they paid him?

  • Carmine Fea

    02/19/2019 06:59 PM

    McCabe is out there swinging wildly at President Trump. Much of what McCabe is saying about the President is obviously ridiculous, has no factual basis and is not credible. McCabe sounds like a confused madman.

  • keith wingfield

    02/19/2019 05:45 PM

    Okay, so it is clear that Jeff Sessions was one of the two cabinet members who wanted to depose Trump under the 25th Amendment ruse.

    But Mike - What did Rosenstein and the FBI conspirators present to Sessions to get him to change his stripes? Whatever they told him was apparently incorrect..., but whatever it was just have been pretty convincing.
    As I have said before, I suspect that they convinced Sessions that they had photos of him cavorting with Russian prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room. If this was it, then Sessions must have felt like he was filled, since such photos were never produced.
    Once Sessions realized that he had been fooled, you would have thought that he would retaliate by un-recusing himself and taking charge of the DOJ. but, he never did. He remained weak-as-a-kitten throughout the whole affair. He chose to allow his legacy as one of extreme weakness. Weakness at a time when the country was in great need of strength. Puzzling, to say the least. Maybe Sessions will write a book of his own, someday.

  • Anne Turner

    02/19/2019 04:05 PM

    They will probably get away with it. The GOP Senators will not want to appear tough as they fear losing the moderate votes. Look at how the Clintons have manipulated the media and misled the public for years and nothing seems to touch them legally. We have a big problem here called precident. Each time we elect someone that the FBI, CIA, Justice Depart., does not think is acceptable to their version of what is acceptable, is their going to be a coup attempt? Don’t the Dems realize this could happen to them in a different time and place? The public is a fickle institution. You never know what the latest population sentiment will be. The really sad thing is that these people most likely thought that they are so bright and elite that they know best what’s good for the public. What arrogance, so typical of the graduates of elite schools and professors. Universities are corrupting our young people.

    On another subject. We women have made such strides in being accepted in positions that were almost exclusively male in times past. Now my sisters are looking like the silly girls that some men think is typical. Things like suggesting burning down the White House, wearing pussy hats, swearing like the worst of the men in society. Wearing white to the State of the Union like a bunch of teeny hoppers, having to have mom in the person of Pelosi glare at the to make them behave in public, listening to that illeducated cutie Cortez, and saying that all women should be believed. It is true that women’s issues concerning sexual abuse have not been addressed the way they should have been. But this should be addressed in a business like way with sound arguements. Instead of making men laugh at us, how about making them ashamed of themselves when they see the facts. All women do not always tell the truth anymore than all men always tell the truth. Guess what, all white males are not the devil incarnate.

  • Rick Utgaard

    02/19/2019 03:59 PM

    If there is nothing done to hold these people accountable, what is there to deter this from happening in the future. Demoting, retiring, stepping down, firing, etc don't cut it. People need to go to jail.

  • Joan K Ashley

    02/19/2019 02:58 PM

    I think I see why so much turnover at the Whitehouse! He gives folks a chance and when they are close to hanging themselves, he “cuts” them loose. Humane if you ask me. Don’t see any reporters, spinning it like this! I guess you can’t sell papers that way~

  • Joan K Ashley

    02/19/2019 02:45 PM

    I have maintained from Sessions confirmation, and subsequent responses to various issues, he IS involved and put in place to help “cover”; for the now dis-credited losing candidate. My “evil” thought process, is always working. How close is Arkansas to Alabama? I’ll comment more as things develop. Hang on folks, it’s going to get NASTIER!

  • Stephanie Bragg

    02/19/2019 02:11 PM

    Just a comment about Sessions being a one of the unnamed Cabinet members. He was probably presented the dossier as fact and undisputed evidence by top DOJ people which he accepted without question. So, May of 2017, it looked as if Trump was guilty of something, based on that evidence. Unfortunately, in my opinion, sessions is gullible and not the brightest lightbulb and did not have the ability or inclination to disprove it. I’m not swallowing the second was Kelly, but maybe Tillerson as he was not aligned with Trump on many levels.