America's spies are playing a dangerous game against President Trump

But what are the motives of these executive branch employees? Are they going after Trump because they possess genuinely incriminating information about him and sincerely fear for the well-being of the country? Or do they have other, baser motives? And perhaps most pressingly of all: Who gets to make that determination? (One man’s virtuous deed is often another’s act of blatant partisanship.)

These are political questions, and political questions are best answered by the political branches of government — by elected officials doing their jobs in the light of day rather than by anonymous, unaccountable experts in espionage, lurking in the shadows.

That’s why Congress has to take the lead in investigating the president — and leaks, no matter how ominous and plausible they may seem, need to be treated with maximal skepticism. Until both of those things happen, the self-reinforcing breakdown of our democratic institutions will only get worse.