Read Chapter 1

The first chapter of Angler is online here.

Read excerpts on the Justice Department crisis

One untold story that Angler recounts at length is what happened behind the scenes of the Bush administration's internal rebellion over warrantless domestic surveillance. Top advisers say on the record that Cheney came close to destroying Bush's presidency. This episode takes up two full chapters of Angler. The Washington Post gives a taste of the narrative in a pair of condensed excerpts.

From part one of the excerpts

A burst of ferocity stunned the room into silence. No other word for it: The vice president's attorney was shouting.

"The president doesn't want this! You are not going to see the opinions. You are out ..... of ..... your ..... lane!""

Five government lawyers had gathered around a small conference table in the Justice Department Command Center. Four were expected. David S. Addington, counsel to Vice President Cheney, got wind of the meeting and invited himself.

If Addington smelled revolt, he was not far wrong. Unwelcome questions about warrantless domestic surveillance had begun to find their voice....

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From part two

Jim Comey and Bob Mueller arrived at the White House for the regular 8:30 terrorism briefing. They had a lot to cover: bombs aboard Spanish commuter trains had killed 191 people in Madrid.

Both men told aides that this would be their last day in government. There would be no door-slamming, but the president had made his choice and they had made theirs.

Bush stood as the meeting ended, crossing behind Cheney's chair. Comey moved in the opposite direction, on his way out. He had nearly reached the grandfather clock at the door, two witnesses said, when the president said, "Jim, can I talk to you for a minute?"

Bush nodded toward the private dining room a few steps from his desk, the one he shared with Cheney once a week. This time the vice president was not invited....

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