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BREAKING NEWS

Former FBI Deputy Director McCabe says he ordered obstruction probe into Trump

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Image: Andrew McCabe
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Senate Hart building on Capitol Hill, on June 7, 2017. -
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Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe told CBS News' "60 Minutes" that he ordered an obstruction of justice investigation into President Donald Trump after a conversation with him immediately following former FBI Director James Comey's firing.

McCabe, who was ousted from the department last March after rising to acting director following Comey's May 2017 firing, told CBS's Scott Pelley that he was concerned Trump would try to make the overall investigation into Russian election meddling go away.

"I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency and won the election for the presidency, and who might have done so with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage," McCabe said. "And that was something that troubled me greatly. "

One day after that conversation, McCabe said he "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," he said. "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 and reassigned or fired, that the case could not be closed or vanish in the night without a trace."

"I wanted to make sure that our case was on solid ground," he continued. "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'd made that decision."

The initial clip of McCabe's interview with Pelley aired Thursday on "CBS This Morning." The full interview will be broadcast on Sunday's "60 Minutes."

On "CBS This Morning," Pelley provided more details about the interview, including McCabe's description of the aftermath of Comey's firing, saying there were "meetings at the Justice Department at which it was discussed whether the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet could be brought together to remove the president of the United States under the 25th Amendment."

"These were the eight days from Comey's firing to the point that Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel," he continued. "And the highest levels of American law enforcement were trying to figure out what do with the president."

Pelley also said McCabe confirmed in the interview that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did consider wearing a wire in meetings with the president. When that information was reported last year, it nearly led to Rosenstein's exit from the Justice Department. Although a prior Justice Department statement said the proposal was made in jest, McCabe said it was taken seriously, Pelley said.

McCabe "says no, it came up more than once, and it was so serious that he took it to the lawyers at the FBI to discuss it," Pelley said.

McCabe was fired last year — just before his planned retirement — in the aftermath of a Justice Department inspector general's report said he misled investigators regarding a leak about the FBI's investigation of the Clinton Foundation, which he denies.