It seems that trump and ilk have seized on a - faulty - argument that Mueller is doing something illegal in the pursuit of emails managed by the GSA handling trump's campaign and transition efforts (via Balloon Juice):
FOX NEWS tweet: BREAKING NEWS: Trump transition team sends letter to lawmakers; claims Mueller team inappropriately obtained private documents.
WEALTHY ELITIST URBAN DWELLER re-tweet: Translation: they obtained embarrassing emails appropriately.
Here's the Reality: Mueller's investigations went through the proper channels to request those emails, and it was up to GSA to respond or not which they did, and this IS standard prosecutorial procedure to go after such emails.
What trump and co. are trying to do is scrounge up a plausible-sounding excuse to shut down the investigation once and for all. Any excuse will do, really. Because like any mob-boss wannabe, trump doesn't like the law and doesn't feel like he should answer to the law.
Thing is, trump can't directly fire Mueller. There are layers to the bureaucracy that any President had to respect lest the whole thing collapses.
trump would have to fire the Deputy Attorney General responsible for the Special Counsel and then fire every Associate AG until one fired Mueller, or trump would have to rescind something called the Good Clause Regulation and fire Muller himself.
So what will happen if trump takes Option A, and fires everybody he can within the Department of Justice (or he gets a loyalist who'll do the job) in order to fire Mueller?
The likeliest response would be an entire Department of Justice - and the nineteen Intelligence Agencies investigating the Russian hacking of our election - turning in revolt against the White House. These intel agencies already have a good idea what Russia did, and what we know is just the stuff they can leak without compromising our own national security so the nasty stuff they can't release is likely way more criminal. If trump makes this move, all it will take is one of those agencies saying "fuck it" and reveal every nasty detail trump has hiding in his closet (including the already infamous Pee tape).
One thing we know is Mueller has tied much of his investigation into state efforts - especially New York - investigating trump's financial dealings. The likely response to Mueller getting canned is the New York state attorneys filing charges on EVERYONE in trump's circle - as they're ALL tied into his shady business practices - including trump himself. Presidents can't pardon state charges or convictions: if trump tries to burn that bridge down to save himself it would destroy the federal-state balance of government forever and spark a civil war between the states opposing his move - which could include Red States lead by governors who know better - and trump's White House. Congress may well blow up in response, with the Democrats clearly opposed and with enough Republicans terrified of the consequences of trump's actions versus the hardliners still trying to keep the GOP in power no matter what.
Option B - revoking a clause and firing Mueller outright - would be such a blatant move of Obstruction that trump will STILL face open rebellion by the DOJ, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, the NCIS, and any other agency using alphabet soup to label themselves. Mueller will still hand over what he's got to the New York State Attorney and have New York arrest everyone from trump down to trump's golf caddy. The separation of powers between federal and state would still be imperiled and we'd still see open revolt among Republican elected officials.
And that's just within the halls of power in Washington. What do you think will happen among the population?
There's already 65 million ANGRY Hillary voters who view trump as illegal, that he cheated his way into the White House despite losing the popular vote and with clear evidence that Russia schemed to hack and manipulate votes to get trump to "win" enough states to skew the Electoral College. Not a one of them will accept Mueller's firing as "legal".
Add onto that the millions of Americans disapproving of trump's performance: his approval is hovering in the low 30s and his disapproval close to 60 percent of polled voters. Just imagine 60 percent of Americans angry enough to rebel against trump when he makes a move that pretty much confirms the worst they already think of him.
I keep thinking back to Machiavelli: it doesn't matter if you're loved or feared, it matters if you end up being HATED. Because at that point the ones hating you will do anything in their power to overthrow you and make your life a living hell.
trump is right now the most HATED man in the United States, and the rest of the world - Russia included - doesn't think well of him either. The only thing saving him from public riots storming the gates has been the people's respect for the Rule of Law, and the belief that the legal system will expose the facts and hold those accountable for their sins. If trump displays his contempt for the Rule of Law by firing Mueller - a blatant act of Obstruction - then nothing can save him past that point. trump will get his war.
It's just the war will be in our streets: between the protesters screaming for justice, and the pro-trump neo-Nazis all too eager to spill blood.
trump is reportedly planning to fire Mueller just as Christmas weekend starts - maybe this Friday, maybe Saturday - so he can prevent Mueller from doing any last-minute steps to preserve his evidence, or at least go off to another golf outing with the belief he's saved himself.
So here's where we are at now, America: trump ruining Christmas for the rest of us. That's how fucked up he is, and how much spite is in his heart for everyone else.
Here's hoping Mueller files his charges on everyone deserving of them - Kushner, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, trump junior, trump himself - this Monday. C'mon. You HAVE to have enough proof by now that trump is Putin's bitch. Drop the hammer. Make this a Christmas Americans can celebrate in relief.