The New York Times reported tonight on a second attempt by Trump to fire Mueller, this time in December 2017. He backed down when reports that Mueller had issued subpoenas about Trump’s Deutsche Bank accounts turned out to be inaccurate.
Republicans keep pretending that Trump has no intention of firing Mueller. Some Republican senators think “additional protections of Mueller’s investigation aren’t necessary…”
If Trump followed the law, he would have to get Rosenstein to fire Mueller. Now, he is considering firing Rosenstein and possibly Sessions. Trump could then appoint a Deputy Attorney General who would do more than Rosenstein to protect Trump and limit the Mueller investigation.
If Republicans won’t prevent this, will they do anything after the fact if it happens? I doubt it. The Republican Party is now Trump’s party.
Even a majority of Republican voters don’t think Trump should fire Mueller but that was before the Cohen raid; they may object less to firing Rosenstein or Sessions. Trump has been critical of both of them for months so I am sure his base won’t care if he cans them.
By firing Rosenstein instead of Mueller, Trump could accomplish his mission of restricting or even ending the investigation by making a move that would be less controversial among his base voters.
I don’t think Republicans in Congress will do anything to stop him or punish him if he fired Rosenstein.