Former FBI director James Comey didn’t hold back in his new book ‘A Higher Loyalty’, set to be released on April 17.
In the explosive book, Comey called out Donald Trump’s damaging presidency and made a rather stunning admission about his handling of the pre-election letter about Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.
In excerpts published in The New York Times, Comey writes that the Trump administration is a “forest fire” that is doing great damage to American democracy and needs to be contained.
“This president is unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values,” the former FBI director wrote, according to The Times. “His leadership is transactional, ego driven and about personal loyalty.”
Comey also said that Trump reminded him of a mob boss, “lying about all things” and surrounding himself only by those who would swear an oath of loyalty to him.
More from The Times:
A February 2017 meeting in the White House with Trump and then chief of staff Reince Priebus left Comey recalling his days as a federal prosecutor facing off against the Mob: “The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and above the truth.” An earlier visit to Trump Tower in January made Comey think about the New York Mafia social clubs he knew as a Manhattan prosecutor in the 1980s and 1990s — “The Ravenite. The Palma Boys. Café Giardino.”
“We are experiencing a dangerous time in our country,” Comey writes, “with a political environment where basic facts are disputed, fundamental truth is questioned, lying is normalized and unethical behavior is ignored, excused or rewarded.”
Comey might not have released the pre-election Clinton letter if he thought Trump could win
Another shocking admission in the book is Comey’s claim that he essentially only released the Oct. 28 letter about Hillary Clinton’s email investigation because he was certain she’d become president.
The former FBI director said he didn’t want her to be an “illegitimate president,” and many in the public might view her that way if he provided an update on the email inquiry after the election instead of before.
Comey’s account via The New York Times:
As for his controversial disclosure on Oct. 28, 2016, 11 days before the election, that the F.B.I. was reviewing more Clinton emails that might be pertinent to its earlier investigation, Comey notes here that he had assumed from media polling that Clinton was going to win. He has repeatedly asked himself, he writes, whether he was influenced by that assumption: “It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls. But I don’t know.”
In other words, Comey released the infamous “update” about Hillary Clinton’s email inquiry just days before the election because he was sure she would win, and he wanted to protect her legitimacy after she took office. If the election was closer – or if it looked like Trump was winning – he may have made a different decision.
Of course, it’s no consolation now as Trump continues to do more damage to this country each day he’s in the White House – but it does give us insight into Comey’s thought process at the time.
Ultimately, Comey’s explosive tell-all is yet another headache for a president who is under fire from all angles, particularly from Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation which continues to circle around Trump.
As this presidency continues to barrel toward the cliff, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which Donald Trump doesn’t have a complete meltdown over James Comey’s new book.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.