James Comey's decision to make a buck by writing a book threatens his carefully crafted image as a straight and narrow lawman as well as the credibility that came with that, according to analysis in USA Today and The New York Times.
Comey's tome - "A Higher Loyalty" - attempts to cash in on that credibility as a voice to be listened to and respected, but instead it and the accompanying promotional tour puts him on the same level of partisan rabble taking shots at President Donald Trump, experts say.
"The real impact of having the former head of the FBI calling the president unfit is dependent on the just-the-facts professional image of the FBI," Republican strategist Michael Steel told the Times. "To the extent that the former director appears petty and anything less than high-minded, it diminishes the impact of his critique."
And it puts a dent in the image of Comey, post-FBI.
"After he was fired, he finally became the martyr he always held himself out to be," Matthew Miller, former Justice Department official, told the Times. "By doing a tour like this where you kind of get down in the gutter the way he has, you sacrifice your claim on being a martyr."
Further, everyone assumed that Comey was going to be Chief Witness No. 1 for Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. But with the book, Comey has now published a "300-word witness statement" that will be compared, broken down and parsed against anything Comey might have told Mueller.
"If it differs at all from what he provided the special counsel, you can be sure that there will be a challenge if this case moves to an impeachment or a trial," Jack Sharman, a former special counsel in the Whitewater investigation involving President Bill Clinton, told USA Today. "This will be, at least, a pain (for Mueller) to deal with."
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