On Wednesday, director Rob Reiner, who has called President Trump “out of his f***ing mind” and suggested that Trump represents the last “battle of the Civil War,” called on the intelligence community to stage a quasi-coup against the commander-in-chief:

Not let Trump destroy democracy…by staging an anti-democratic coup? That may seem radical, but the notion has been echoed by a series of high-profile people, both right and left. Here, for example, is Bill Kristol:

And there’s Evan McMullin, who posed as the alternative to Trump from the right in the 2016 election:

This is the same excuse the left used to excuse the treason of Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Leaks are always your friend if they target those you hate – and it’s easy to redefine your mission as “defending the Constitution” in order to target those you hate. That oath isn’t blanket permission to ignore job description and legal duties based on subjective interpretation of events. And here’s the reality: none of the leaks thus far have contained truly damning information about the Trump administration or campaign. They’ve all been weak tea, and look far more like a political hit than an act of patriotic resistance to a Manchurian candidate.

But for those who want Trump gone, any excuse will do. And it’s particularly ironic for those who believe Trump is a grave threat to democracy to claim that overthrowing democracy in order to oust him provides no threat to democracy. Every tyrannical movement in history has posed itself as a reaction an even more important anti-democratic threat. The Constitution is a robust document with a durable system. Relying on unelected bureaucrats to violate the law in order to save us from those who would supposedly destroy the Constitution is self-defeating.