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As we write this, Robert Mueller remains on the job.

And, in our view, he should until his work is done.

Questions about the future of special counsel Mueller's investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election for president grew on Thursday. President Trump continued public criticisms of Mueller; his lead attorney in the investigation, John Dowd, resigned.

We are under no illusions he will, but Trump should end his commentary on the investigation. Even if he keeps up his Twitter crusade, however, the president must resist whatever temptation he might possess to fire Mueller and unleash chaos in the capital the likes of which Americans haven't seen since the days of Richard Nixon and Watergate. In a Sunday interview on CNN, in fact, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said firing Mueller "would be the beginning of the end of his presidency."

In a May 2017 editorial, we said the Justice Department's decision to name Mueller special counsel to investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including questions about ties between Russia and President Trump and Trump associates, spoke to the strength of checks and balances within the federal government. It was, we said, an affirmation of faith in our system. We were advocates for a special counsel because we believed Congress had proven itself incapable of the independence necessary for a proper probe. In former FBI Director Mueller, we said in our May 2017 editorial, the DOJ chose a respected figure of integrity who will conduct the investigation in thorough, professional and impartial fashion.

Our positions haven't changed.

Do concerns raised about the election, Russia, Trump and those close to Trump add up to little more than smoke or is a real fire at the heart of this story?

Americans - all Americans - should want Mueller to finish what he started so they will know, one way or the other.


Opinion editor

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