Friday, March 22, 2019

What James Baker Told Congress

Kim Strassel at the WSJ has an article today that addresses James Baker's testimony to Congress. Baker, of course, was General Counsel for the FBI under the leadership of his good friend, James Comey. That made Baker Comey's closest legal adviser and the top lawyer at the FBI. We've gone over the parts of Baker's testimony that have been leaked through Jeff Carlson. The relevant posts include:

James Baker And Michael Sussman Revisited

James Baker Identifies Another Source Behind the FISA Application

It's James Baker's Turn To Throw Rosenstein Under A Bus

Strassel writes behind the WSJ's subscription wall. For those who don't subscribe, here are the main points that Strassel makes in What FBI’s Counsel Told Congress: Baker’s testimony shows Comey wasn’t being fully candid about the dossier.

The title tells Strassel's central point. Comey tried to "play dumb" about what he knew regarding most of the Russia Hoax. The reality, however, was that Comey--and the FBI generally, at the executive level--had a very clear understanding of who the players behind the "dossier" really were, and that they represented the Clinton campaign:

The general counsel [Baker] explained that the FBI’s application to eavesdrop on Carter Page through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was one of the few he ever personally reviewed. Why? Because it was “sensitive” and “controversial” and targeted a person with “connections to a candidate for the office of President of the United States.” 
That, Mr. Baker said, was also why in its FISA application “we were obligated to talk about Simpson [Glenn Simpson, Fusion GPS, Clinton oppo researcher] and what the hell we knew about him”—namely to “alert the [FISA] court to the fact that there were a range of issues with respect to the providence [= provenance] of this information and the relationship that we had with respect to Mr. Simpson and his credibility.” Mr. Baker nonetheless fails to explain how that “range of issues” was communicated via the obscure footnote the FBI ultimately included in its application, which vouched for Mr. Steele and made only vague reference to an “identified U.S. Person” who might (or might not) have political motives. 
As to Mr. Sussmann and his documents, Mr. Baker similarly says he “was concerned about the nature of this material from the first instance.” He knew Mr. Sussmann was involved with the DNC and had also given his documents to the New York Times.

Of course this isn't news, but I think we can count on it that Baker's testimony will get much closer to center stage as the Russia Hoax continues to unravel. Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Page ... Baker's cooperation is very bad news, and it will get worse.

Please refer to the links above to refresh your recollection if necessary.

No comments:

Post a Comment