Former top FBI lawyer personally involved in FISA warrant for Trump aide, other Russia probe irregularities, transcript shows
James Baker. Whatta guy. He going with the “I was only...” defense. The lying bastid.
A former top FBI lawyer acknowledged he was personally involved in the warrant application to surveil then-Trump campaign aide Carter Page and confirmed other "unusual" steps taken in the FBI’s Russia probe in 2016, during a closed-door congressional interview.
Baker said he was briefed on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant “as time went by” and recalled how he got involved early in the process. The warrant relied heavily on the unverified anti-Trump dossier, which was financed by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign via the law firm Perkins Coie.
“I don't want to see it at the end, like when it is about to go to the director [for] certification, because then it is hard to make changes then," Baker told House investigators when Republicans controlled the chamber. "So I wanted to see it when it was gelled enough but before it went through the process and before it went to the director. I wanted to see it and I wanted to read it because I knew it was sensitive."
Question: "So that is why you took the abnormal or unusual step in this particular situation because it was sensitive?"
Question: "So you actually got involved because you want to make sure that, what?"
Baker: "I wanted to make sure that we were filing something that would adhere to the law and stand up over time."
Since then, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., formally requested further information from the FBI about the contact. Further, conservative watchdog Judicial Watch launched a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in December against "the Department of Justice seeking records of all meetings in 2016 between former FBI General Counsel James Baker and the Perkins Coie law firm."
Ha ha! How dare anyone cast aspersions on James Baker’s pure-as-the-driven-slush virtue and honesty. He’s was just ‘going the extra mile’ for God and country’. Oh wait...
Collusion bombshell: DNC lawyers met with FBI on Russia allegations before surveillance warrant
Congressional investigators have confirmed that a top FBI official met with Democratic Party lawyers to talk about allegations of Donald Trump-Russia collusion weeks before the 2016 election, and before the bureau secured a search warrant targeting Trump's campaign.
Former FBI general counsel James Baker met during the 2016 season with at least one attorney from Perkins Coie, the Democratic National Committee's private law firm.
“Explosive”: Top FBI Official Met DNC Lawyers to Discuss Russia Before FISA Warrant
Congressional investigators revealed a top official at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) met with Democratic Party lawyers to discuss allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. James A. Baker, former general counsel for the FBI, met with at least one attorney from Perkins Coie during the 2016 season.
The DNC and Clinton campaign used Perkins Coie to hire the shadowy smear firm Fusion GPS, who in turn hired Mr. Steele. The former spy of the Russia desk at MI6 almost exclusively used Kremlin sources to gather the information he then fed to DOJ officials Bruce Ohr. But they funded the operation and failed to properly disclose those payments, which is precisely the subject of a complaint at the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).
But congressional investigators uncovered a direct link from Democratic operatives to the FBI during questioning behind closed doors. Mr. Baker identified Democratic lawyer Michael Sussman, a former DOJ lawyer, as the Perkins Coie attorney who reached out to him.
Top FBI official linked to reporter who broke Trump dossier story
James Baker, the FBI's recently reassigned general counsel, was in touch with David Corn of Mother Jones in the fall of 2016, GOP sources said.
Well then, I guess this shocks no one...
Former top FBI lawyer James Baker under criminal investigation for media leaks
The development was made public in a letter sent Tuesday to the office of U.S. Attorney John Durham for the District of Connecticut by Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Mark Meadows of North Carolina.
In the letter, the two lawmakers cite the transcript of a congressional interview with Baker and his lawyer in October. “You may or may not know, [Baker has] been the subject of a leak investigation … a criminal leak investigation that’s still active at the Justice Department,” lawyer Daniel Levin told lawmakers, according to the transcript cited by Jordan and Meadows.
Politico reported in December 2017 that House Republicans had begun investigating Baker’s contact with Mother Jones reporter David Corn and their communications in the weeks leading up to the November 2016 election.
Corn was the first to report the existence of the Steele dossier, which has unverified allegations of ties between Trump and Russians. The revelation of Durham’s investigation marks the latest confirmation of a leak investigation into former FBI officials.