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A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership Hardcover – April 17, 2018
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About the Author
On September 4, 2013, James Comey was sworn in as the seventh Director of the FBI.
A Yonkers, New York native, Jim Comey attended the College of William and Mary and the University of Chicago Law School. After law school, Comey returned to New York and joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York as an Assistant U.S. Attorney. There, he took on numerous crimes, most notably Organized Crime in the case of the United States v. John Gambino, et al. Afterwards, Comey became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia, where he prosecuted the high-profile case that followed the 1996 terrorist attack on the U.S. military’s Khobar Towers in Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Comey returned to New York after 9/11 to become the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. At the end of 2003, he was tapped to be the Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice (DOJ) under then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and moved to the Washington, D.C. area.
Comey left DOJ in 2005 to serve as General Counsel and Senior Vice President at Defense contractor Lockheed Martin. Five years later, he joined Bridgewater Associates, a Connecticut-based investment fund, as its General Counsel. In early 2013, Comey became a Lecturer in Law, a Senior Research Scholar, and Hertog Fellow in National Security Law at Columbia Law School.
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The last 4 chapters were about Russia interference in the 2016 election. There was no smoking gun, no "alternate" facts, just a blow by blow of what actually happened and his feelings/concerns while our democracy is being blown up. In my opinion, the Epilogue was his best writing, open, honest, heart-felt and very moving. Job well done James Comey!
The writing is definitely 5 star. It is clearly written and easy to read and follow. It also shows a lot of Comey’s inherent biases, especially toward women. He spends so much time telling us how moral he is and how he hates lying, that I found it hard to believe. It is like he is trying to convince us he is rather than being these qualities.
Beyond that is where I had the problem because I think both writing and content should be represented by the star rating. I immediately got the impression Mr. Comey is trying to justify his actions at every turn and avoid responsibility. I was also troubled by the portrayal of the women in this book. I understand this is his story, but it is so self-centered and lacking in insight that I struggled through it at times because I could not take any more of how good he thinks he is.
He goes into a long explanation of the case against Martha Stewart. They could not indict her on any wrong doing but there was circumstantial evidence she lied to the FBI. He justifies the case against her by equating it to a case where a man actually participated in a crime and lied. What about equating her to a man who had not participated in a crime and lied, would they have pursued him with such vigor? Not to mention cost to the American taxpayer.
A large portion of the book is centered on Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. Again, investigators could not find any evidence of wrong doing but he seemed bound and determined to prove she had lied. The number of sentences he uses with the words “Hillary Clinton” and “lie” is ridiculous. There was no evidence that she lied which seems to disappoint him and he still tanked her presidential campaign and says he would do it again, showing he learned nothing. He had been told about the Weiner laptop a month before he decided to make a public announcement about it right in the critical last days of the election cycle.
He cast aspersions on both Sally Yates and Loretta Lynch which seemed completely uncalled for. Surely there were men he thought were criminals or liars or that he should circumvent the Justice Department about and other prominent cases that could be discussed but he seems to only be concerned with women.
While he justifies telling the world that they were reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton, he did not think it necessary to tell the public they had evidence that Russia was trying to undermine our elections or that the Trump campaign was being investigated. While I can understand the latter, I do not understand the former. By his own examples earlier in the book and his justification for throwing Clinton under the bus, it certainly seems Russia was a bigger threat and a better reason to speak directly to the American people and side-step the Justice Department conventions and regulations.
He tells us how much experience he has with the criminal element but he does not seem to be a very good judge of character based upon the way he approached and dealt with Donald Trump. He says Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy but says we are all responsible for his election. Considering what he says he knew before the election and how he acted, he takes no responsibility for the outcome of the election he knowingly influenced.
My positive impression of the man definitely changed. I wonder how he ever became head of the FBI considering his questionable judgement of both character and actions.
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