But some things are disclosed in his book that warrant repeating. The FBI's review of Hilary Clinton's emails was to Comey, a "routine investigation." He also went to great lengths to clarify that the FBI determined Clinton did not intentionally violate any laws by using a private email server. I state this because amidst the fire-storm engulfing the investigation at the time, I read countless opinions on social media (and they still exist today) FaceBook demanding Clinton be "locked up" for just using private servers. As usual, Comey enlightens readers as it relates to the investigation process and specifically, why the FBI determined there was no case to prosecute against Hillary Clinton. I'm not going to spoil it for those still waiting to read the book, but the bottom line is simple - non-lawyers should always refrain from pontificating about what the law "really means." Strict Liability in criminal instances are very narrowly defined and as Comey plainly states, that at the end of the investigation (which included interviewing Clinton at FBI headquarters for over three hours), "there was nothing in her comments that we could prove was a lie beyond a reasonable doubt. There was no moment when investigators caught her in a lie." "This case was done."
In addition to laying out why the FBI would not recommend Clinton be prosecuted, Comey lays out how poorly Right Wing Media, the GOP and Donald Trump misled the public on the investigation. Now most of us already knew this, but Comey confirms that partisans and their supporting media used the entire matter to pursue strictly political aims, without regard to the truth or the Rule of Law. So when it comes to ignoring the Rule of Law, Comey especially slams Donald Trump and his Administration. Why? Because according to Comey, after briefing Trump and his team on the Russian interference in our election, no one (including the President-elect") asked any questions about what was being done to stop the cyberattacks or what our strategy was to respond. Not only did Trump and his Senior staff not ask these important questions relating to National Security, they "were keen to emphasize that there was no impact on the vote, meaning that the Russians hadn't elected Trump." Comey found it more suspicious because Trump wanted the FBI to publicly state the election was legitimate (the FBI would not) rather than how to protect the nation from further election interference.
I could go on, but to do so would spoil the read for others. What I will add though is Comey's recollections of lies and distortions from Trump. More importantly, the observation that Trump rambles from topic to topic without allowing others to chime in. By doing do, Comey observed the president reinforces his skewed perception of events while taking the silence of those listening as assent and approval. "His assertions about what 'everyone thinks' and what is 'obviously true' wash over you unchallenged...because he never stops talking." "As I sat there, I watched the president building with his words a cocoon of alternative reality that he was busily wrapping around all of us."
And then came the "I hope you can let this go" part of the book. Comey says he does not know what Trump's intent was in making this statement about ending the FBI investigation into Michael Flynn and the Russians, but by the end of the book he indicates it seemed just part of a pattern he has seen before - one that fits the definition of "Obstruction of Justice." Comey points out that Mueller will have to determine whether obstruction occurred, but he makes no bones about how it appeared to him (like Trump repeatedly bringing up matters and claiming innocence when no one raised any of the issues or claimed he was guilty of). That isn't good for Trump.
One last tidbit to enlighten Trump supporters. Comey learned of his firing as FBI Director while addressing the LA FBI office staff. As he began his comments at the office, television screens in the room indicated that Comey had been fired. After completing his remarks, he contacted everyone in the chain of command up to the White House for clarification. None would be forthcoming until calls of support began to come in. When asked how he was to return to Washington, Comey reveals the decision was made by the "interim FBI Director" Andrew McCabe to allow him to fly back on the FBI jet that took him there (reasoning that the plane and crew had to return to DC anyway). What we did now know prior to Comey's book was how incensed Trump was over McCabe allowing Comey to return on the FBI jet. "The president exploded. He ordered that I was not to be allowed back on FBI property again, ever." Any wonder why McCabe then became the target of Trump's wrath (and the subject of a very public firing with Right Wing Media support)?
And the icing on the cake. James Comey, a Republican who served directly under two presidents (Bush and Obama) concludes that Donald Trump "makes me worry for my country." "...the current president will do significant damage in the short term. Important norms and traditions will be damaged by the flames." One thing is for sure after reading Comey's book - In Mueller we trust! Have a great week!