THE UNMAKING OF THE PRESIDENT 2016 by Lanny J. Davis
Kirkus Star

THE UNMAKING OF THE PRESIDENT 2016

How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The former special counsel to former President Bill Clinton takes on the 2016 election and James Comey’s effect on the outcome.

According to Davis (Close-Up: Twelve Months at Yale, 2017, etc.), the negative effect is indisputable, and he has the data, compiled both before and well after the election, to back up his claims. While he occasionally tumbles into legal jargon, he provides compelling criticism of the FBI, the New York Times, and others. The seed was sown on March 3, 2015, when the Times published a story about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email account at the State Department. Davis shows how there was a precedent and that the account was legal and never hacked. It was eventually proven that none of the 55,000 emails were marked as classified; they were also never “missing.” The legislation requiring submission of records within 60 days of leaving office was amended after Clinton left the State Department, and 50,000 pages were submitted within one month of the change. The author next follows the statements and letters of Comey. The tumult over the March story died down until the Times published another story in late July claiming that two officials within the intelligence community recommended a “criminal referral” concerning Clinton’s handling of the emails; that story was based on a leak. The officials released a joint public statement contradicting the Times story, and the FBI quietly opened a criminal investigation. Comey’s statements about the investigation(s) were, in the words of a former prosecutor who worked for him, “an unprecedented public announcement by a non-prosecutor that there would be no prosecution.” Indeed, he violated several long-standing Department of Justice practices of never confirming or denying existence of an investigation and to do nothing in the 60 days prior to a presidential election. The author’s epilogue, “It’s Time for an Impeachment and Twenty-Fifth Amendment Investigation,” is surprisingly calming.

Lapsed Trump supporters might well open their minds to this attorney’s scholarly, entirely convincing proof of the damage done.

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5011-7772-9
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2018




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