In a shocking report citing a bevy of anonymous DOJ officials, the NYT recounted on Friday an aborted mutiny attempt organized by Rosenstein, who allegedly tried to organize members of Trump's cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment to oust Trump from office. In an attempt to persuade the clearly reluctant members of Trump's cabinet, Rosenstein suggested that he had taped Trump "to expose the chaos" he said was engulfing the West Wing.
Mr. Rosenstein made the remarks about secretly recording Mr. Trump and about the 25th Amendment in meetings and conversations with other Justice Department and F.B.I. officials. Several people described the episodes, insisting on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. The people were briefed either on the events themselves or on memos written by F.B.I. officials, including Andrew G. McCabe, then the acting bureau director, that documented Mr. Rosenstein's actions and comments.
None of Mr. Rosenstein's proposals apparently came to fruition. It is not clear how determined he was about seeing them through, though he did tell Mr. McCabe that he might be able to persuade Attorney General Jeff Sessions and John F. Kelly, then the secretary of homeland security and now the White House chief of staff, to mount an effort to invoke the 25th Amendment.
According to the NYT, this all happened during the spring of 2017, shortly after Trump cited a letter that Rosenstein had penned criticizing former FBI Director James Comey's handling of the Clinton probe as justification to fire Comey. Rosenstein reportedly felt he had been "used" by the president as an excuse to fire Comey.
Rosenstein also tried to recruit some of his would-be co-conspirators to surreptitiously record Trump in the Oval Office.
Mr. Rosenstein then raised the idea of wearing a recording device or "wire," as he put it, to secretly tape the president when he visited the White House. One participant asked whether Mr. Rosenstein was serious, and he replied animatedly that he was.
The Times said Rosenstein "appeared conflicted, regretful and emotional" during what can only be described as a coup attempt against a sitting president.
While Rosenstein and Trump clearly never saw eye to eye, the level of resentment that Rosenstein harbored toward the president was not previously known. Unsurprisingly, the story has already fired up speculation that Rosenstein may have been the anonymous administration official who penned a critical op-ed that was published earlier this month in the New York Times.