Pittsburgh, PA – Pittsburg Police Department detectives were instructed to prepare for potential “large scale” protests in the downtown area of the city, amid speculation that President Donald Trump may soon fire Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.
PPD Major Crimes Unit detectives received the e-mail, authored by Commander Victor Joseph, on Wednesday morning, WTAE reported.
“There is a belief that President Trump will soon move to fire Special Prosecutor Mueller,” the e-mail read. “This would result in a large protest within 24 hours of the firing.”
“We may be needed to assist,” Comm. Joseph wrote.
In preparation for the potential situation, he notified the detectives that they would be “required to bring a full uniform and any issued protective equipment, riot gear, with them to work until further notice,” according to the e-mail.
Comm. Joseph noted that the protest would likely be “semi-spontaneous,” and would “more than likely happen on short notice.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto confirmed the e-mail’s authenticity, and said that the commander had issued the directive as a precautionary measure, WTAE reported.
The city’s Public Safety Director, Wendell Hissrich, echoed the mayor’s assessment of the situation, and said this was not the first time the PPD had prepared for a potential situation.
“The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police receives information daily that we evaluate and prepare for if the event should occur,” Wendell said in a statement, according to WTAE. “Often the events we prepare for do not occur. However, through an abundance of caution, we attempt to adequately prepare for an appropriate response.”
News of Mueller’s possible firing came after a bipartisan effort to protect his job was initiated in the wake of President Trump’s public criticism of the special prosecutor’s investigation into potential ties between the President’s 2016 campaign and Russia, WTAE reported.
Last week, President Trump blasted Mueller’s investigation as “an attack on our country,” and called the matter “corrupt,” WTAE reported.
On Tuesday, the proposed legislation was quickly thwarted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said there was no indication that the President intended to fire Mueller, KDKA reported.
“We’ll not be having this [bill] on the floor of the Senate, McConnell said, according to WTAE.