This is an opinion of a first year paralegal student and does not constitute advice of any nature, legal or otherwise.
Constantly it seems that the headlines are filled with talk about Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the President and whether there was any “wrong doing” with Russia and a flurry of other headlines surrounding the entire debacle including threats, bravado, indictments and controversy.
Since there is so much to focus on, here are the important topics this article will discuss: the indictments so far, protections for Mueller and what Trump may or may not do.
As far as the President directly firing Mueller, that is a “no.” According to factcheck.org, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein cited regulations issued by the attorney general in 1999 (28 C.F.R 600.4-600.10) that say a special counsel can “be disciplined or removed from office only by the personal action of the Attorney General.” Since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the investigation, then this authority should, effectively, belong to Rosenstein only.
One route which could be taken is the President removing Rosenstein and replacing him with someone else. Whoever that new person is might remove Mueller.
This turns the page to further protections. Many lawmakers have warned that removing or impeding Mueller would draw massive backlash and strong condemnations. Some believe it could see Trump impeached. The Senate Judiciary Committee has taken an interesting step. A bill is before the Committee that would define who is allowed to fire Mueller or any future special counsel. As reported by newsy.com, a vote on this was delayed by request of the members on the Committee.
Furthermore, McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan both feel that the bill is unnecessary. Ryan said that Mueller should not be fired and that he doesn’t believe Mueller will be fired.
All of this comes together with some facts provided by the Mueller team. Indictments and plea deals have reached 22 people/entities thus far according to Vox.com. Some might dismiss this as unrelated but it shows, at the very least, that people were doing something allegedly wrong in the eyes of the law. While Trump, even now, may actually be clean since no direct facts have come out that put Trump in an incriminating light, it is very concerning that the President and/or his administration have worked with so many people that have been indicted or arranged a plea deal.
While the President is innocent as far as current facts are concerned, it would not surprise this author to know that the administration is shaken with the Michael Cohen raid. While at one point the President could have ended Mueller’s investigation at one time now he cannot. If Trump takes any action toward Mueller at this time it can only be seen in one light: covering up.
No Government, nor its Public, wants to have a leader impeached. It cripples trust, it destroys credibility and it fractures public opinion even more than it is currently. The Mueller investigation has to, by default, finish the course it is on. There is no other choice.