The chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Committee has vowed to get to the bottom of allegations that discussions were held in 2017 on removing President Donald Trump from office.

Senator Lindsey Graham pledged to issue subpoenas “if that’s what it takes”.

Ex-acting FBI chief Andrew McCabe has said deputy US attorney general Rod Rosenstein discussed the numbers needed to invoke the 25th Amendment.

Mr Rosenstein has in the past denied discussing invoking the clause.

The 25th Amendment provides for the removal of a president if deemed unfit.

“I think everybody in the country needs to know if it happened. I’m going to do everything I can to get to the bottom of Department of Justice [and] FBI behaviour toward President Trump and his campaign.”

He pledged to hold a hearing to determine “who’s telling the truth”.

What is the claim about secret recordings?

Mr Rosenstein is also alleged to have offered to secretly record Mr Trump, amid concerns about possible obstruction of justice relating to the investigation into alleged collusion between the president’s campaign team and Russia.

When the allegations first emerged in the New York Times, Mr Rosenstein said the report was “inaccurate and factually incorrect”.

However, Mr McCabe said that Mr Rosenstein “was not joking. He was absolutely serious”.

“It was incredibly turbulent, incredibly stressful. And it was clear to me that that stress was — was impacting the deputy attorney general.

“I never actually considered taking him up on the offer,” he added.

What has the response been?

The Justice Department says that Mr McCabe’s account is “inaccurate and factually incorrect.”

“The deputy attorney general never authorised any recording [of Mr Trump]… nor was the deputy attorney general in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment.”

In January, US media reported that Mr Rosenstein was planning to quit, although no timeframe had been set.

Meanwhile, the White House said: “Andrew McCabe was fired in disgrace from the FBI for lying, and he opened a completely baseless investigation into the president – everyone knows he has no credibility.”

Mr McCabe, who took over the FBI in 2017, was himself fired as deputy director in March last year just two days before he was due to retire.

He was sacked by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who said an internal review found he leaked information and misled investigators.

Mr McCabe denied the claims and said he was being targeted because of his involvement in the inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

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