A Higher Loyalty by James Comey has been out for a few months now and it is one I was hesitant to start reading because I assumed it to be a completely different book than what it actually is. I wrongly assumed it was all about politics and I was thoroughly surprised when it wasn’t.
James Comey is a man that I didn’t know much about before reading this book. I knew he was the leader of the FBI and that I disagreed with him on the encryption battle that raged a few years ago, but beyond that, all I knew is both political parties seemed to hate him. To me, that means he is doing something right.
A Higher Loyalty is a book about truth, lies, and leadership and written from his point of view that goes through his personal life. I enjoyed the style of the book and hearing his side of the story on the Martha Stewart trial, the Bush administration’s torture policy, the Clinton Emails, and of course his firing by Trump.
What I most enjoyed was his commentary on Clinton’s emails and seeing the case through the FBI lens versus the talking heads that everyone seemed to parrot back during the election season. Of course, the left thinks he handed the win to Trump because of his actions around the case, but I’ve never agreed with that. I think most people had already made up their minds on who they are going to vote for before then. At least that is the vibe I get from my area which granted is a hard red state.
Then the final chapters were devoted to the Trump presidency and his meetings with the president up until he was fired. What is funny to me is Comey could be lying about everything but, for me, he gets the benefit of the doubt because of how often Trump lies.
This paragraph really hit home to me and what I struggled with during the entire 2016 election season, and sickeningly it’s still happening today:
I see many so-called conservative commentators, including some faith leaders, focusing on favorable policy initiatives or court appointments to justify their acceptance of this damage, while deemphasizing the impact of this president on basic norms and ethics. That strikes me as both hypocritical and morally wrong. The hypocrisy is evident if you simply switch the names and imagine that a President Hillary Clinton had conducted herself in a similar fashion in office.
Even with all this, he concludes that he optimistic on the future and that we will reverse course and the balance of power of the three branches will come back closer to what the founders intended.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and it kept me engaged all the way through. The chapters were short, and it was an easy read. I’d recommend it if you have any interest in the law and like to see things from many different angles.
You can pick up a copy on Amazon for $16, but I was able to get a used copy for less than $5 with free shipping.