Here’s a good question: Why was Bob Woodward so secretive about his work on the Trump administration? The best theory is that Donald Trump is trying to keep his minions under control, and he knows there will come a point where a lot of negative things could come out about him. He is obsessed with the media, and he knows a lot about what goes on behind the scenes, the people who are in top positions in the administration. He won’t accept what Woodward’s story says, and if he did leak, he’d be guilty of obstruction of justice. But, well, he’s got a lot of people leaking, too, to put it mildly, and he needs to keep hold of the narrative.

His lawyers threatened Woodward with a subpoena, demanding that he hand over his files. That put Woodward on his “leave of absence” from the Washington Post, which has become a central point of Trump’s online infrastructure:

Journalists covering President Donald Trump’s administration are pushing to get access to part of the president’s secret tape recordings that he ordered recordings of himself talking with officials on other topics and shared with the media. The film “The White Helmets,” which is made by the U.K.-based National Film and Television School, was awarded a silver nomination at Sunday’s Oscars for short film. Mark Ruffalo and Alec Baldwin starred in the film about rescue workers searching for survivors and objects at the site of a chemical attack in Syria.

There’s no reason to get to this, by the way, because the vast majority of Woodward’s book on the Russia situation has already been reported by the mainstream media. So most the time, I don’t think the response to Woodward will be “as a matter of course, subpoena!” The bigger effect might be that the president is able to remember who he picked to cover him, or a gloss on which he can offer encouragement to Mueller’s investigation.

But let’s keep in mind two things. First, if Woodward had gone all the way, making a full-blown subpoena from the White House, all hell might break loose and Trump wouldn’t go along with it. First, Woodward, in attempting to convey the coverup narrative to the public, tries to sanitize the Russia story. Second, if we tried a full-scale, fresh, airtight federal investigation into the role that the White House played in the DNC email hack, Trump might actually listen to what Woodward’s been telling him. Woodward’s story is revealing, with it at least. But he’s not telling it any other way.