A former federal prosecutor said Monday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE could file a lawsuit if President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE were to fire him from the Russia probe.

“Well, if he went that route and tried to kind of circumvent, or you know, trump the special counsel rules, there could be an action filed in federal court,” Seth Waxman, a former U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., told MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber.”


Waxman said that Department of Justice rules surrounding Mueller's appointment protect him from being fired by the president. He argued that Mueller could be removed only by a Department of Justice official for certain issues, such as dereliction of duty, and that a lawsuit could be filed under the Administrative Procedure Act if Trump sought to get around those rules.

“And so if Trump were to go that route, there potentially could be a lawsuit filed in federal court and litigation over that matter,” Waxman added.

Trump has said he will not fire Mueller, and reportedly has told some individuals close to him that he believes Mueller will send a letter to him exonerating him of any crimes.

That's done little to quiet speculation that Trump could fire Mueller, however.

The special counsel is investigating Russia's involvement in last year's election, including whether there was collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign. The probe has led to a number of indictments, including of former Trump campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFederal judge considers setting ex-Obama counsel's trial for August: reports Juan Williams: The high price of working for Trump Ex-Obama counsel pleads not guilty to charges tied to Ukraine lobbying MORE.

Conservative pundits and some GOP lawmakers have questioned the integrity of the special counsel and suggested there may be an anti-Trump bias within the FBI.

The source of those concerns is anti-Trump text messages sent by an agent formerly working on the Russia probe. That agent was removed from the investigation following the discovery of the messages.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe problem for Trump appointees Juan Williams: The high price of working for Trump Trump learns to love acting officials MORE recused himself from the Russia probe, leaving Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod Jay RosensteinHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report Mueller won't attend Barr press conference on report Schumer slams Justice Dept over 'pre-damage control' on Mueller report MORE as the official who appointed Mueller.