Comey Returns to Spotlight: Book Deal Hyped as D.C. Tell-All

Former U.S. attorney says 'arrogant, self-righteous' fired FBI director may violate agency practices with memoir

Fired FBI Director James Comey landed a multimillion-dollar book deal to give the country “unprecedented entry into the corridors of power,” Flatiron Books Publisher and President Bob Miller told the Associated Press in a statement released Wednesday.

President Donald Trump’s firing of Comey on May 9 kicked up a massive cloud of controversy. Initially citing concerns over Comey’s widely criticized handling of the investigation into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, Trump also added concerns over Comey’s general job performance and a perceived penchant for “showboating.”

Now Comey will publicly unveil his own version of events with an untitled memoir, set for release next spring, detailing “examples from some of the highest-stakes situations in the past two decades of American government” and sharing “yet-unheard anecdotes from his long and distinguished career,” according to his publisher.

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“Throughout his career, James Comey has had to face one difficult decision after another as he has served the leaders of our country,” Miller said in hist statement to AP. “His book promises to take us inside those extraordinary moments in our history, showing us how these leaders have behaved under pressure. By doing so, Director Comey will give us unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in leadership itself.”

Eddie Zipperer, an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College, told LifeZette in an email that “It’s no surprise that Comey — a man of dubious ethics that the Democrats ripped to shreds when he re-opened the Clinton investigation, and then hailed as a beacon of integrity when he tried to smear president Trump in front of Congress — would cash in on his government service.”

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“Here’s the really frustrating thing about it: [Comey] got a big, fat, lucrative book deal because he is so interesting. He’s so interesting because he did such an exasperatingly poor job as FBI director,” Zipperer added. “I like seeing people cash in on their own hard work. Seeing Comey cash in on his own incompetence is obnoxious.”

When news broke of Comey’s book deal gig, many in Washington, D.C., and the mainstream media began speculating what information he would divulge about his relationship with Trump.

Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, told LifeZette that Comey must submit his book draft to the FBI, the Department of Justice, and various other agencies for review because of the nondisclosure agreement he signed prior to becoming FBI director. DiGenova noted that Comey’s memoir simply cannot be a “tell-all” on his time with Trump because that would violate departmental standards.

“That’s the usual crap from publishers. But the bottom line is this: That book cannot be published without prepublication review by the FBI and the Department of Justice,” diGenova said. “And I can assure you that the Department of Justice will be involved in prepublication review, along with the CIA and other intelligence agencies.”

Although Democrats and members of the mainstream media vehemently decried Comey’s decision to conduct an unprecedented press conference announcing the conclusion of the Clinton investigation last summer, the former FBI director earned their overwhelming interest when he testified before Congress about his relationship with Trump in June.

“There isn’t any doubt that [Comey’s] trying to capitalize on his notoriety, such as it is,” diGenova said. “But the luster of his star will fade as the developments concerning his flawed investigation of Hillary Clinton become much more delved into, and as the leaks of classified information from the FBI are investigated by appropriate departmental officials.”

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At his testimony Comey made the shocking admission that he asked a personal friend to leak portions of memos he kept detailing interactions with the president.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pledged a stepped-up effort to investigate and prosecute the illegal leaks that have been pouring out of the government agencies and undermining Trump’s administration for over six months.

As those investigations commence, diGenova warned that Comey’s memoir could cause him problems.

“You know, [Comey] can write whatever he wants, but it’s pretty clear that the Justice Department is now going to begin criminal investigations into leaks of classified information by the FBI during his tenure,” he said. “Anything that he writes down that will be contradicted by something else — it all depends on how these investigations go. In other words, there are going to be grand juries about a lot of stuff. It’s just going to happen.”

“And whatever [Comey] puts in writing, he’s going to be stuck with. It’s his words. So it’s a statement. That’s assuming he gets permission to publish whatever it is he writes,” diGenova added.

Noting that it is “unprecedented” for a former FBI director to write this kind of memoir, he said, “that won’t stop Jim Comey to try and make a saint out of himself and to show how much better he was than all the people he served with and served under. He is an arrogant, self-righteous person who has disserved the FBI and the United States.”

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