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A tougher take on Comey

Photo: Ralph Alswang/ABC via Getty Images

The WashPost's front page has a tough-ish review of James Comey's "A Higher Loyalty," out Tuesday — "How does Comey live up to ‘ethical leadership’ he extols?" by book critic Carlos Lozada.

The key line: "Comey cops to petty misdeeds ... But when the stakes rise, self-examination diminishes."

  • "Trump ... lurks in Comey’s schoolboy battles with bullies ... 'All bullies are largely the same ... They threaten the weak to feed some insecurity that rages inside them.'"
  • Comey, on his days battling mafia families as U.S. attorney in Manhattan: “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.”
  • "Comey’s own ethical leadership suffers most in the book’s treatment of his one-time boss, former attorney general Loretta Lynch."

Another key passage from Comey's book, noted by Lozada:

  • "I’ve prosecuted and overseen many cases involving obstruction of justice, but in this case, I am not the prosecutor. I am a witness. I have one perspective on the behavior I saw, which while disturbing and violating basic norms of ethical leadership, may fall short of being illegal."

Chris Matthews tells Axios' Mike Allen, in advance of a special he narrates at 9 tonight on MSNBC, "Headliners: James Comey":

  • “James Comey is the most politically significant FBI Director since J. Edgar Hoover. He may end up more important to American history than Donald Trump.”
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