A tremendous education

Funny thing: I did a search of the Comey interview and the word “truth” appears 48 times. “Truth matters” appears 3 times.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Right at the beginning of your career, you’re involved in prosecution of major mafia figures. How does that form you?

JAMES COMEY: Well, it’s a tremendous education to get– a view inside La Cosa Nostra, the mafia, both in the United States and in Sicily. And to realize that the mafia is an organization like any other organization. Has a leader, has underlings, has values, has principles. They’re entirely corrupt. And it is the antithesis of ethical leadership.

But I didn’t know it at the time. But it was forming my view that the truth has to be central to our lives and that leadership has to be focused on important and ethical values. And not what’s good for the boss, how do I accomplish what’s good for the boss and get the boss what he wants.

And, I would imagine, his awareness of the tension between the two, and the importance of that tension. The mafia attitude to The Boss is a particular kind of attitude; it must have been deeply disconcerting to him to find it again in the new president of the US.

He talks about the Martha Stewart case, and his determination not to let it slide because she’s rich and famous.

“Why would I treat Martha Stewart differently than that guy?” And the reason would only be because she’s rich and famous and because I’ll be criticized for it. The truth matters in the criminal justice system. And if it’s going to matter, we must prosecute people who lie in the middle of an investigation.

Imagine what it’s like for people who work in the criminal justice system watching Trump in action.

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