Amid increasingly loud rumors that President Donald Trump intends to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, one former federal prosecutor is certain that if push comes to shove, the special counsel won’t go down lightly.
As MSNBC host Ari Melber pointed out, Justice Department regulations stipulate that attorneys general can only fire special counsels if they’re found guilty of “misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of departmental policies.” Seth Waxman, a former federal prosecutor who spent 13 years in the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C. noted that if Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein changes his mind or is compelled by Trump to fire Mueller, it would likely trigger litigation.
If and when that happens, Waxman continued, members of Mueller’s team would have “standing under the law” to argue that the special counsel’s firing is “arbitrary and capricious,” which could lead to court review. The process it would trigger, however, could take a month or longer to move through courts. During that review, Mueller’s investigation could continue mostly unhindered, Waxman said.
Melber asked the former federal prosector if Mueller and his attorneys would be ready to “fight this out” if he is removed from office, to which Waxman replied “I have little doubt of that.”
“Bob Mueller and his team are very sophisticated lawyers at the top of their game and I think they’ve thought through many of these different avenues,” Waxman concluded. “If it did come to that, I think there would be legal challenges.”
Watch Waxman’s interview below, via MSNBC.