Inside Donald Trump's War on the FBI
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“Never did I imagine a day when the greatest threats to our institutions would come from within our own government”: A former special agent details just what it is that Donald Trump doesn’t like about the FBI.

Now a CNN analyst, Campbell served as assistant to former FBI director James Comey, among other assignments over a 12-year career. It was in that role that he participated in the operation of his title, its name taken from the Rolling Stones song “Jumping Jack Flash.” It was early on in the 2016 presidential campaign that the Steele report emerged from a British intelligence agent “that contained unverified but explosive charges against then candidate Trump.” In those green times, even a couple of Republican senators worried that the report was worth pursuing, one of them, not coincidentally, John McCain. Comey’s unpleasant task was to report to Trump that the FBI had the information and that he was indeed under investigation for illegal ties to Russia, something Trump has vehemently denied. In the end, he fired Comey and effectively declared war on the FBI for supposedly being against him politically even though, Campbell notes, the agency is apolitical—and, he adds, “one key aspect of law enforcement in this nation that separates us from authoritarian regimes has been the norm that politicians do not interfere in the work of the FBI.” That norm has been destroyed, and even though the Mueller Report, by the author’s account, strongly suggests illegal activity, he writes that Attorney General William Barr, “describing lawfully predicated surveillance as ’spying,’ ” and Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, are actively blocking for the White House. Campbell notes that he left the agency voluntarily and has no ax to grind, though his principal person of interest is the current occupant of the White House: “I simply hope to illuminate for US citizens the current and lasting consequences of Trump’s attacks on law enforcement.” That he does.

A newsworthy book in an electoral cycle that promises to see plenty of foreign interference—and little resistance from Republicans.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-61620-950-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Algonquin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2019