[Ed. – No doubt just a coincidence that he is timing it for right before the midterms.]
Over the past few months, Donald Trump has tempered his threats to fire Robert Mueller, recognizing that he can just as easily undermine the special counsel in the court of public opinion. The strategy has been crude but, like a 19th-century bone saw, brutally effective. Rather than involve himself with personnel issues at the Justice Department, which Trump’s lawyers have surely advised him could be seen as further evidence of obstruction, the president has constructed an alternate reality in which the F.B.I. was part of a rabid conspiracy to prevent his election and the only “real collusion” was committed by his Democratic enemies. He has tested the bounds of his constitutional powers, asserting unprecedented executive privileges including legal immunity, the ability to pardon himself, and to shut down federal investigations. As the Russia investigation races toward a conclusion, however, Trump and his Republican allies are due for a reckoning. Mueller is reportedly winding down his obstruction probe—an interview with Trump is likely to be the capstone to that investigation—and moving on to whether there was an underlying crime to cover up.