The first round of Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files” on Friday evening indicated that one of Twitter’s former attorneys who played a crucial role in censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story was also involved in the federal surveillance of President Donald Trump.
James Baker was Twitter’s Deputy Counsel in the days leading up to the 2020 election. When he worked previously for the FBI, he helped the agency obtain warrants to spy on the 2016 Trump campaign.
Independent journalist Matt Taibbi released the first “Twitter Files” report on Friday after Elon Musk provided him with company documents he obtained after purchasing the platform. Taibbi’s tweet thread dealt with the collaboration between Twitter, the DNC, and the Biden campaign to suppress the New York Post’s story about the contents of Hunter’s abandoned laptop days before the 2020 election.
Six Degrees from James Baker: A Familiar Figure Reemerges With the Release of the Twitter Files – JONATHAN TURLEY https://t.co/BGULMYq2QS
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 4, 2022
Baker justified the censoring of the laptop story by claiming it was “reasonable to assume it may have been hacked.” He also said that the company “needed more facts” and decided that “caution is warranted.”
Baker provided sworn testimony in 2018 that he reviewed the FISA warrant application to spy on Carter Page when acting as general counsel for the FBI in August 2016. Other FBI attorneys initially refused to endorse the application, telling Baker that more evidence was needed that Page was working on behalf of the Russian government.
Baker then added six memos from the “Steele dossier” fabricated by former U.K. spy Christopher Steele to the application, leading the FBI to agree to submit the application for approval in September 2016.
The Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) later reported the Page application contained 17 significant errors and omissions. The report concluded that the FBI failed to verify any of Steele’s allegations before submitting the warrant application based on the bogus dossier.
Baker admitted in 2019 that he felt “distressed” when he read the IG report. However, he maintained that it was “preposterous” that the FBI did not attempt to verify the dossier.
Baker resigned from his position with the FBI in 2018 and joined Twitter in June 2020 as the company’s legal counsel.
Fox News Network legal contributor Jonathan Turley wrote on Sunday that the revelations contained in the “Twitter Files” indicate that Baker went on to maintain “non-public channels with the Biden campaign (and later the White House).”
Musk has promised that additional revelations will be coming soon in additional “Twitter Files” reports.