Pittsburgh police have been instructed to keep their riot gear handy in the event that President Trump fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller and triggers protests.
Detectives in the city received emails warning them to be prepared for “potential large scale protest” in Pittsburgh, according to WTAE reporter Marcie Cipriani.
Cipriani posted the following email from Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Commander Victor Joseph on Twitter Wednesday:
We have received information of a potential large scale protest in the Central Business District.
There is a belief that President Trump will soon move to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller. This would result in a large protest within 24 hours of the firing. The protest would be semi-spontaneous and more than likely to happen on short notice.
Based on this information, beginning tomorrow, April 19, 2018, all Major Crimes detectives are required to bring a full uniform and any issued protective equipment (riot gear) with them to work until further notice. We may be needed to assist in the event that there is a large scale protest.
Police department spokesman Chris Togneri confirmed to Newsweek that the email is authentic.
As many as 300,000 Americans have signed up to protest if President Trump does fire Mueller, according to The Hill. MoveOn.org has coordinated at least 800 gatherings across the nation. The group says a White House decision to terminate Mueller would trigger a constitutional crisis.
“Our response in the hours following a potential power grab will dictate what happens next – whether Congress will stand up to Trump or allow him to move our democracy toward authoritarianism,” MoveOn.org states.
“That’s why we’re preparing to hold emergency ‘Nobody Is Above the Law’ rallies around the country, in the event they are needed – 800+ of them and counting, in every state, with 300,000 RSVPs to date!”
Recent media reports from CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post and The Hill have indicated that President Trump is also considering firing Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general at the Justice Department. Rumors of the possible firings heating up last week after the FBI raided the office of President Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Earlier this week, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that the president believes he has the power to fire both Rosenstein and Mueller.
However, on Sunday, Sanders told ABC’s “This Week,” “I’m not aware of any plans to make those movements.”
She added: “We do have some real concerns with some of the activities and some of the scope that the investigation has gone.”
Sanders insisted “there was absolutely no collusion with Russia.”
“Not only has the special counsel but a number of different congressional committees have been looking at this for over a year and come up with nothing,” she said. “It really is getting time to move on, and I certainly think the American people would appreciate Congress and the rest of the country being able to focus on some of the things that really impact them.”
Still, on Tuesday, a group of House Republicans quickly announced their support for a bill to ban President Trump from firing Mueller without good cause. It also allows the special counsel to go to court and fight any effort to remove him. In just the last week, six House Republicans have endorsed the bill.
On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan told a Capitol press conference: “We do not believe that [Mueller] should be fired. We do not believe he will be fired.”