Former FBI director James Comey's special assistant chronicles the bureau's investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion by the president himself. Here, he takes readers deep inside key moments of this historic operation.
... a must-read on what went down in the first 18 months of the Trump presidency. Filled with color and quotes, it is highly digestible ... In light of recent reports that Trump’s communications with an unidentified foreign leader may have injured US security and triggered a standoff between the administration and Congress, Campbell’s take cannot be readily dismissed.
The book is gummy with schmaltz, but at least Campbell spares readers the yards and yards of autobiography he must know doesn’t interest them. Instead, he gets quickly down to business ... Of more pointed interest to most readers of Crossfire Hurricane will be the cleanliness of Campbell’s own hands in other matters ... Campbell opts instead for portraying the FBI Director as some kind of helpless jellyfish pulled along by the currents. 'Boxed in' is absurd; Comey could have followed longstanding Bureau policy and simply kept his mouth shut ... These kinds of frustrations are endemic in reading what for better or worse we must call Trump books: even the ones that exude some degree of good intentions also exude complicity in the sordid tenor of the times. All these budding authors are running games of their own; all are picking and choosing their words with telling forensic care; all are looking for maximum payoff with minimum legal exposure. It’ll reach its pinnacle when somebody writes Trump’s own account of it all, but it’s plenty bad enough right now.
Campbell’s Crossfire Hurricane is an insider’s account (made less useful than it might have been by the publisher’s decision not to include an index) ... One reads accounts of Trump and Russia with a gnawing question in mind: What’s missing here? Curiously, despite all the official investigations and digging by reporters that have informed us about these strange events, the main plotline is full of holes. The books by Stewart and Campbell neither fill all the holes nor, for the most part, even acknowledge them. Yet they illuminate failures by the FBI, Mueller, and other investigators to figure out what was going on between the Trump campaign and the Russians ... Both Stewart and Campbell accept and describe the FBI as they found it. Campbell shows the familiar romantic attachment to the bureau that is typical of its employees.