The open secret that Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller last June now a lot less secret, the actions taken following by the White House make a lot more sense. Trump wanted the people who could damage him out of the picture, and it meant that if he couldn't fire Mueller, he'd use his power to destroy the witnesses he could go after, vital to Mueller's case against him.
President Donald Trump pressed senior aides last June to devise and carry out a campaign to discredit senior FBI officials after learning that those specific employees were likely to be witnesses against him as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, according to two people directly familiar with the matter.
In testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, recently fired FBI Director James Comey disclosed that he spoke contemporaneously with other senior bureau officials about potentially improper efforts by the president to curtail the FBI’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Mueller is investigating whether Trump’s efforts constituted obstruction of justice.
Not long after Comey’s Senate testimony, Trump hired John Dowd, a veteran criminal defense attorney, to represent him in matters related to Mueller’s investigation. Dowd warned Trump that the potential corroborative testimony of the senior FBI officials in Comey’s account would likely play a central role in the special counsel’s final conclusion, according to people familiar with the matter.
In discussions with at least two senior White House officials, Trump repeated what Dowd had told him to emphasize why he and his supporters had to “fight back harder,” in the words of one of these officials.
In fact this campaign has now turned into a massive Republican pogrom to "purge the FBI of Deep State Obama elements" or something horrific like that.
The FBI officials Trump has targeted are Andrew McCabe, the current deputy FBI director and who was briefly acting FBI director after Comey’s firing; Jim Rybicki, Comey’s chief of staff and senior counselor; and James Baker, formerly the FBI’s general counsel. Those same three officials were first identified as possible corroborating witnesses for Comey in a June 7 article in Vox. Comey confirmed in congressional testimony the following day that he confided in the three men.
In the past, presidents have attacked special counsels and prosecutors who have investigated them, calling them partisan and unfair. But no previous president has attacked a long-standing American institution such as the FBI — or specific FBI agents and law enforcement officials.
Mueller has asked senior members of the administration questions in recent months indicating that prosecutors might consider Trump’s actions also to be an effort to intimidate government officials — in this case FBI officials — from testifying against him.
So yeah, the cover-up, or in this case the obstruction of justice, is worse than the crime. And Mueller's on the case.