Amica Nostra

It’s straight out of the Godfather or Goodfellas – ‘amica nostra ; a friend of ours’ . The Donald as Mafia Boss , as depicted by former FBI Director ( and Gangbuster no doubt) James Comey in his book  -A Higher Loyalty – to be published next week .

I have ordered Comey’s book . I will read it with interest but also a degree of scepticism . It runs the risk of being a paean of self justification ; certainly one imagines the White House will portray it that way . The White House  will claim it is an exercise in self glorification and self enrichment : Mr Comey’s higher loyalty is to himself they will say .

Tarnished ….the Weiner Laptop Episode

In my eyes Mr Comey’s  suit of shining armour , donned for the round of promotional events upon which he has embarked looks rather tarnished when one remembers his reopening of the Clinton email server investigation on the basis of ‘new evidence ‘ which turned out not to be new evidence at all .

Bizarrely the reopening of the investigation was triggered by the discovery of Clinton emails on the laptop of the husband of Huma Abedin ( Senior Clinton Aide ) – Antony Weiner . Weiner had been disgraced earlier during the somewhat eponymous sexting scandal ( I will not dwell on the photos that were involved ).

It should surely have been relatively straightforward to establish whether or not the emails were  indeed new .  Instead Comey announced to the world ,  11 days  before  the Presidential election , that he was reopening the investigation .

It is suggested by some that Comey’s motivation was to protect his legacy as a fearless investigator . Whatever the motivation it undeniably had a negative effect on Clinton’s campaign and put new wind into the Donald’s sails .

Hero to Zero

It says much for the constancy of the Donald’s judgement that Comey moved from hero at the point of reopening the investigation to zero when he did not respond positively to the idea that General Flynn should be left out of the investigation regarding Russian links.

Silent Circle of Assent

Importantly what rings entirely and spine chillingly true is Comey’s depiction of Trump’s behaviour in meetings . It is consistent with other published accounts .

‘For example, in a discussion of a White House meeting with Trump and then chief of staff Reince Priebus in February 2017, Comey says that “because he never stops talking”, Trump “pulls all those present into a silent circle of assent”.- Guardian 13 April 2018 

“The encounter left me shaken,” Comey writes. “I had never seen anything like it in the Oval Office. As I found myself thrust into the Trump orbit, I once again was having flashbacks to my earlier career as a prosecutor against the Mob. The silent circle of assent. The boss in complete control. The loyalty oaths. The us-versus-them worldview. The lying about all things, large and small, in service to some code of loyalty that put the organization above morality and the truth.”

Next Week

We will  all watch with interest how this plays out – silver bullet or fake news ?

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