This combination of pictures created on January 8, 2018, shows files photos of former FBI director Robert Mueller, left, on June 19, 2013, in Washington, DC; and US President Donald Trump on December 15, 2017, in Washington, DC. (AFP / SAUL LOEB AND Brendan Smialowski)
US progressive groups are gearing up for nationwide protests should President Donald Trump fire the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, or replace the deputy US attorney general overseeing the probe.
An ouster of Special Counsel Robert Mueller would signal that Trump was acting as if he was above the law, said MoveOn.org, which is planning 800 demonstrations across the country.
Every state will have at least one "Nobody Is Above The Law" rally and at least 320,000 people have pledged to attend so far, according to MoveOn's website.
Trump would also trigger protests if he fired Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is responsible for overseeing the Russia probe, or if Trump pardoned any of his associates who have been targeted in the investigation, such as Paul Manafort, a former Trump election campaign chairman who is facing two indictments in different federal courts brought by Mueller, MoveOn said.
Trump has been critical of the Mueller investigation, calling it a "witch hunt". He threatened to fire Mueller after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the offices of Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, on Monday, based partly on a referral by the special counsel.
Other groups behind the planned protests include Friends of the Earth, the American Federation of Teachers, and veterans organisations, MoveOn said.
"If Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller, it will create a constitutional crisis," said MoveOn, which recently supported the March For Our Lives gun control protest in Washington.