A former federal prosecutor said Monday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE could file a lawsuit if President TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban 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 ManafortThere was Trump-Russia collusion — and Trump pardoned the colluder Treasury: Manafort associate passed 'sensitive' campaign data to Russian intelligence Hunter Biden blasts Trump in new book: 'A vile man with a vile mission' 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 SessionsDOJ to probe Minneapolis police Garland rescinds Trump-era memo curtailing consent decrees Biden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies MORE recused himself from the Russia probe, leaving Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinProtect the police or the First Amendment? Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office MORE as the official who appointed Mueller.