The city of Pittsburgh has ordered its detectives to bring riot gear to work Thursday in case President Donald Trump fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller, according to an internal email.
Police Commander Victor Joseph reportedly told detectives in the Major Crimes unit to show up to work in full uniforms and riot gear "until further notice."
Pittsburgh's local CBS station obtained the internal memo, in which Joseph writes "there is a belief" that Mueller may be fired, and that "large-scale" protests are expected to ensue in the central business district within 24 hours if that occurs.
“We have received information of a potential large scale protest in the Central Business District. The protest would be semi-spontaneous and more than likely happen on short notice,” the email reads. “Beginning Thursday, 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.”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is of course investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 US election. Well - he started out with that anyway, and moved on to raiding Trump's attorney's office last week in search of documents tied to an alleged affair Trump had with porn star Stormy Daniels. Coincidentally, we're sure, several embarrassing leaks were published in the press in the days following the raid.
Pittssburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said in a statement that the city's police officials will evaluate and prepare for such situations as a precautionary measure.
"We receive information regularly about potential events and/or threats, assess the credibility of the information and plan for a potential event," Hissrich said. "In this case, we have not assessed the credibility of the potential for disturbances, and we do not have any knowledge of the President's decision-making process."
Hissrich added, “On a routine basis, we receive intelligence about potential problems that may occur in the city, whether it be weather-related, whether it be man-made, whether it be demonstrations, and we act accordingly and appropriately to have a plan in place.”
The ironically named "Moveon.org" - which hasn't moved on from the 2016 election, has organized a "Nobody is Above the Law Rally," which calls for Pittsburgh residents to show up at the City-County building to protest:
"This is an event planned as a rapid-response protest in the event that Donald Trump fires Special Counsel Robert Mueller or acts in other ways to seriously threaten the Trump-Russia investigation. Please note that the listed date is a placeholder and will be updated to be within 24 hours of the firing, should it occur." -Moveon.org
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) derailed a bipartisan attempt to protect Mueller's job - saying he would not hold a floor vote on the legislation regardless of whether it is first approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senator says that the bill is not necessary because President Trump isn't going to fire Mueller.
Then on Wednesday, Trump tamped down concerns over whether he was going to fire Mueller or Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.
"They've been saying I'm going to get rid of them for the last three months, four months, five months and they're still here," the President told reporters.
Speculation over whether Trump would fire Mueller grew following the raid on Trump attorney Michael Cohen's house, office and hotel room last week - which many say crossed the President's "red line" for appropriate limits on the special counsel "witch hunt" as Trump calls it.