OK, patriotic Republicans: It’s time to quit making excuses for Trump

Last week, I warned that “we are witnessing a concerted effort to undermine the credibility of a guy who, yes, made some mistakes—but who also appears to be an honorable public servant.” I was talking about former FBI Director James Comey. But perhaps I should have been talking instead about Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Trump administration, who is now rumored to be on the chopping block.

In recent days, we have seen a) evidence of a concerted effort to undermine Mueller’s credibility, and b) leaks about the possibility that Mueller could be fired by Trump. (Technically, the Justice Department would have to fire him—but Trump could order his firing and, eventually, find someone at Justice who would carry out his order.)

The attacks on Mueller have been swift and surprising. On May 17, Trump loyalist and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tweeted, “Robert Mueller is superb choice to be special counsel. His reputation is impeccable for honesty and integrity. Media should now calm down.”