The problem, for the confederation of Democrats, pundits, Obama holdovers, and NeverTrumpers who hoped to see that result, has been that so far, after a lot of investigating, no evidence has emerged that collusion actually occurred. Although they allowed that previously unknown proof could always emerge, last week some of the lawmakers most deeply involved in the investigation, and most closely in touch with the intelligence community and law enforcement working on the probe, conceded that there appeared to be no there there.

That was then. Now, rather than focusing on alleged collusion, the thrust of leaks in recent days has been directed almost exclusively toward building a case of obstruction of justice against the president, charging that he actively tried to derail the investigation into his campaign and his associates. More and more, day after day, Trump’s adversaries believe that, when it comes to bringing down the president, it might not matter if collusion occurred or not. A cover-up would be enough to do the job.

The Trump-Russia case could become the ultimate illustration of the old Washington saying that it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up. In this case, there might be no underlying crime at all.