Hell hath no fury like an FBI boss scorned

One of 2018’s most anticipated political bios arrived in store this week. A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership by former FBI boss James Comey has caused a maelstrom in Washington in recent days, prompting President Trump and other agitated Republicans to denounce the author as “slippery”, “morally unfit” and a "grandstanding liar who put his own interests above America’s’’.

While serious questions remain about Comey’s actions leading up to the 2016 US Presidential election when he resurrected the Clinton email controversy just days before the November vote, his new memoir is an important contribution to the political sphere. Some of Comey’s claims about discussions he had with the President have been verified by respected sources. And the book has a gravitas that confirms Comey’s reputation as a loyal and trusted official who tries hard to maintain distance from the party political. He is a man who served three presidents without fear or favour. No doubt his first meetings with President-Elect Trump set off inner alarm warnings, and in the weeks leading up to his sacking in May last year, he kept scrupulous notes.

Comey’s observations of an administration in crisis are fascinating. And the conversations with President Trump – if accurate – will no doubt play a key role in any investigations into whether the President obstructed justice. The book also provides an interesting insight into how a career bureaucrat rose to one of the most powerful positions in the US, and allows Comey to discuss life experiences that formed his ethics, his leadership principles, and also explore in the public arena his notion of how governments and their law enforcement agencies should work together.

James Comey is James Comey’s greatest fan. But there is no doubt he is a patriot. He also has regrets, particularly in relation to the Hillary Clinton emails and whether he directly played a part in her defeat. We urge readers who are following closely events in the US as it looms toward a constitutional crisis to read this book. It adds to our understanding and shines a bit more light into the dreadfully dark corners of this unethical administration.

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