Former FBI lawyer James Baker was reportedly personally involved in the Carter Page FISA warrant applications and confirmed the agency’s other “unusual” steps in the 2016 probe.
A transcript from the former top FBI lawyer’s explosive congressional interview in October, obtained by Fox News ahead of being publicly released, revealed that Baker was involved in the process of securing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to surveil Page, Catherine Herridge reported.
Still being reviewed by the government, the transcript showed that Baker told lawmakers, as part of the joint investigations by the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, that he was “aware” of the Russia investigation and, “as time went by” he was briefed on the warrant that was based on the unverified anti-Trump dossier funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
“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, who is under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice over leaks to the press, told House investigators then. “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.”
The transcript showed Baker replied “yes” when asked: “So that is why you took the abnormal or unusual step in this particular situation because it was sensitive?”
“I wanted to make sure that we were filing something that would adhere to the law and stand up over time,” he said, also noting that his involvement was not a routine thing.
“I did not … at that point in time when I was at the FBI … almost all of the FISA applications did not go through me,” he said.
Details from the Baker transcript were reported by The Epoch Times, revealing that he admitted to Congress that the investigation was indeed “highly unusual.”
“I had a jaundiced eye about everything, yes. I had skepticism about all this stuff. I was concerned about all of this. This whole situation was horrible, and it was novel and we were trying to figure out what to do, and it was highly unusual,” Baker, who resigned from the FBI in May 2018, told lawmakers.
He reportedly also believed that Clinton should have been charged over her “alarming, appalling” mishandling of classified information.
“My original belief … after having conducted the investigation and towards the end of it, then sitting down and reading a binder of her materials, I thought that it was alarming, appalling, whatever words I said, and argued with others about why they thought she shouldn’t be charged,” he said.
Following Baker’s explosive testimony last October, North Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Meadows told Fox News that the attorney had “confirmed that things were done in an abnormal fashion. That’s extremely troubling.”
A Mother Jones reporter who first exposed the existence of the infamous Trump dossier was linked to Baker in 2017, when the FBI official was reassigned from his General Counsel position.
Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit last month “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.”
Opposition research firm Fusion GPS was hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign in April 2016 through Perkins Coie to report on Trump, and the Judicial Watch lawsuit sought information related to a meeting between Baker and Perkins Coie lawyers.
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