Instant New York Times Bestseller
"Important and stunning. This is must-read material if you want to understand what the Trump administration is still up to right now." --Lawrence O'Donnell
There are questions that the Mueller report couldn't—or wouldn't—answer. What actually happened to instigate the Russia investigation? Did President Trump’s meddling incriminate him? There’s no mystery to what Trump thinks. He claims that the Deep State, a cabal of career bureaucrats—among them, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, and Peter Strzok, previously little known figures within the FBI whom he has obsessively and publically reviled—is concerned only with protecting its own power and undermining the democratic process. Conversely, James Comey has defended the FBI as incorruptible apolitical public servants who work tirelessly to uphold the rule of law.
For the first time, bestselling author James B. Stewart sifts these conflicting accounts to present a clear-eyed view of what exactly happened inside the FBI in the lead-up to the 2016 election, drawing on scores of interviews with key FBI, Department of Justice, and White House officialsand voluminous transcripts, notes, and internal reports. In full detail, this is the dramatic saga of the FBI’s simultaneous investigations of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—the first time in American history the FBI has been thrust into the middle of both parties' campaigns for the presidency. Stewart shows what exactly was set in motion when Trump fired Comey, triggering the appointment of Robert Mueller as an independent special counsel and causing the FBI to open a formal investigation into the president himself. And how this unprecedented event joined in ongoing combat two vital institutions of American democracy: the presidency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
At stake in this epic battle is the rule of law itself, the foundation of the U.S. Constitution. There is no room for compromise, but plenty for collateral damage. The reputations of both sides have already been harmed, perhaps irrevocably, and at great cost to American democracy. Deep State goes beyond the limits of the legally constrained Mueller report, showing how the president’s obsession with the idea of a conspiracy against him is still upending lives and sending shockwaves through both the FBI and the Department of Justice. In this world-historical struggle—Trump versus intelligence agencies—Stewart shows us in rare style what’s real and what matters now. And for the looming 2020 election.
In this rigorous, lucidly written inquiry, New York Times columnist Stewart (Tangled Webs) examines the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into links between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia's interference in the 2016 election for evidence that, in Trump's words, the investigation was "an illegal takedown that failed." Beginning with the opening of the FBI's 2015 case on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for unauthorized use of a private email server, then the surfacing of the "Steele dossier" and President Trump's dismissal of FBI director James Comey, Stewart efficiently recounts the events that led to Mueller's appointment, focusing on decisions made by FBI officials including Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page (all accused of "treason" by Trump). His timeline is studded with revelations Page initially lied to McCabe about her affair with Strzok; Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein twice offered to secretly record conversations with the president but Stewart credibly concludes that there was no "deep state" conspiracy. The irony, he contends, is that the FBI's rigid insistence on preserving its aura of independence "opened the doors to hell," as Comey has said. Though many details will be familiar to political junkies, this is a must-read for those seeking clear, credible answers to the swirl of accusations surrounding these matters.