"Not My Investigation": Former FBI General Counsel Shrugs Off Delay in Turning Over Key Text Message

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  vic-eldred  •  one month ago  •  45 comments

By:   JONATHAN TURLEY

"Not My Investigation": Former FBI General Counsel Shrugs Off Delay in Turning Over Key Text Message
Former FBI General Counsel (and now Twitter lawyer) James Baker as long been a lightning rod for critics over the role of the FBI in pushing false Russian collusion claims. Baker did not help himself with those critics yesterday when he took the stand in the trial of Michael Sussmann, former Clinton campaign counsel. After…

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Former FBI General Counsel (and now Twitter lawyer) James Baker as long been a lightning rod for critics over the role of the FBI in pushing false Russian collusion claims. Baker did not help himself with those critics yesterday when he took the stand in the trial of Michael Sussmann, former Clinton campaign counsel. After declaring Sussmann a friend, Baker seemed to shrug off the fact that he previously failed turned over a critical piece of evidence to Special Counsel John Durham because "this is not my investigation. This is your investigation."

Sussmann faces a single charge under 18 U.S.C. 1001 for lying to the FBI in a meeting with Baker.

In the indictment, Sussmann is accused of "mak[ing] a materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statement or representation" in conversations with Baker. Durham argued that "the defendant provided the FBI General Counsel with purported data and 'white papers' that allegedly demonstrated a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and a Russia-based bank."

Sussmann's choice of Baker was little surprise for critics who have long viewed the former General Counsel as one of those officials who facilitated Russian collusion claims.

On May 4, 2018, Baker resigned from the FBI and joined the Brookings Institution as a fellow. Brookings also featured prominently in developing false collusion claims. He later joined Twitter as a high-ranking attorney and has been criticized for playing a role in that company's robust censorship program targeting conservatives and others.

On the stand, Baker explained that he continues to be a friend of Michael Sussmann, who he met during their time together at the Justice Department.

What was most striking statement arose after Baker was asked about his belated turning over of a key piece of evidence. A text message from Sussmann before their meeting clearly showed Sussmann denying that he was contacting Baker on behalf of any client. He was representing the Clinton campaign and charged the time to the campaign:


"Jim — it's Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss. Do you have availability for a short meeting tomorrow? I'm coming on my own — not on behalf of a client or company — want to help the Bureau. Thanks."

As I previously discussed, the text was a bombshell for the case in directly contradicting Sussmann's claim that Baker merely misremembered their conversation.

Baker was asked why he never informed Special Counsel John Durham of the text despite the long investigation of Sussmann. Indeed, he did not turn over the text after Sussmann was indicted on September 16th.

Baker's response was telling: "It's frankly — I'm not out to get Michael and this is not my investigation. This is your investigation."

That came off a lot like "why should I help you?" Even being used as a conduit for a baseless, false allegation by a campaign did not seem to motivate Baker to actively seek to turn over any evidence in his possession.

Baker said that he found the message in March and turned it over to his lawyer. That seems like a rather belated discovery. Alfa bank was under investigation for years, including extensive investigations by Congress, the Mueller investigation and the Durham investigation. Yet, Baker did not previously review his own interactions with Clinton counsel or involvement on either the Steele dossier or Alfa Bank allegations?

Baker specifically testified in 2018 on Russian collusion claims involving the Trump organization and campaign. This include extensive questions about his interaction with Sussmann. In the hearing, Baker told Congress that he "did not recall" if Sussmann said he was representing anyone in the meeting, even though he had a text expressly stating that he was not representing the campaign or anyone else in the meeting. Indeed, Baker testified "I don't remember knowing why Michael Sussman, for example, was coming into the office."

Even if Baker continues to maintain that he did not know that Sussmann was working for Clinton at the time of their meeting, it was clear early in the investigation that Sussmann and his partner at Perkins Coie, Marc Elias, were involved in the allegations of a false campaign-driven Russian collusion allegations.

Baker, however, reportedly shrugged off the question and testified "I'm not out to get Michael and this is not my investigation. This is your investigation. If you ask me a question, I answer it."

In truth, it is the investigation of the United States Department of Justice, where Baker held a top position.

The testimony left the impression that Baker was going to cooperate but could hardly be expected to seek to help the Justice Department in proving a possible crime by Clinton campaign counsel. He indicated that he had to be specifically asked for such information and could not be expected to volunteer it or to seek to confirm evidence in his possession: "Nobody had asked me to go look for this material before that."

When he came into possession of information from Sussmann, Baker told Congress, "I wanted to get it out of my hands into the hands of agents as quickly as possible." That did not appear the standard that he applied to evidence in his possession that was material to Durham investigation of the Clinton campaign.

It is just not Baker's job. After all, this is not his investigation.


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Jonathan Turley


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Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Vic Eldred    one month ago

This was the senior FBI lawyer who supposedly didn't read the Carter Page FISA warrant application before signing it. The same man who did not come up through the ranks of the FBI. He was one of those outside "professionals" don't ya know!  He was so professional he didn't even know how to conduct an FBI interview/interrogation. He had no witness nor tape when he interviewed Sussman. Fortunately Sussman sent a self incriminating e-mail before he came.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @1    one month ago

How many articles are you going to post on this?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Tessylo @1.1    one month ago

It's an ongoing investigation. [deleted]

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1.1.2  JohnRussell  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.1    one month ago

Wake me up when something interesting happens in this trial. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.3  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @1.1.2    one month ago

I really don't want to disturb you, but I'll give you a jingle when the Jury renders a verdict.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
1.1.4  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.1    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.5  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Tessylo @1.1.4    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
1.1.6  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  Tessylo @1.1.4    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
1.1.7  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Vic Eldred @1.1.5    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2  JohnRussell    one month ago

The nation will be comatose over the "revelations" in this farce as the meaningless exercise in legal futility drones on. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JohnRussell @2    one month ago

You currently have a few distractions, but they are temporary.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.2  Tessylo  replied to  JohnRussell @2    one month ago

After all the years of investigations by this slacker Durham, this is all he's got!

How pathetic!

How desperate!

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
2.2.1  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  Tessylo @2.2    one month ago

You're getting very repetitive again. 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3  JBB    one month ago

Because everyone in DC had known the CIA and FBI had been investigating Trump's Russian dealings for years prior to the Summer of 2016. Beginning by at least 2014 the CIA, FBI, MI6, Interpol and every other spy agency in the world were observing Trump and Co for seeking out and establishing relationships with many known agents of Putin's Russian State Intelligence Services regarding Trump's desire to build a Trump Tower in Moscow plus other things. It was just more of the same...

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
3.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JBB @3    one month ago

256

Same bullshit with the same links to prove it........................

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.1.1  JBB  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @3.1    one month ago

How can you not believe the CIA and FBI were investigating Trump prior to the Summer of 2016? Want to buy a bridge to Brooklyn?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
3.1.2  seeder  Vic Eldred  replied to  JBB @3.1.1    one month ago

Like Joseph McCarthy who conducted dubious investigations, they went in with nothing and came out with nothing. They need to be held accountable.

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Masters Principal
3.1.3  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JBB @3.1.1    one month ago

I already own it. Guess you got taken.

As far as the "investigation" you have been asked countless times for proof. And all you do is run. 

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.1.4  Sparty On  replied to  JBB @3.1.1    one month ago

Well then, if the CIA was investigating US citizens, they were breaking the law and the people responsible should be charged, arrested and tried in a court of law.

Put a few of these smug, lawless Feds in a jail cell with bubba and maybe things will get better.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @3.1.3    one month ago
[deleted]
[comments about other members are always off topic and no value]
 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.1.6  JBB  replied to  Sparty On @3.1.4    one month ago

If the CIA and FBI had not investigated when Trump and Co were seeking out, establishing relationships with and meeting with known clandestine agents of Vlad Putin's Russian State Intelligence Services they would have been negligent of their duties. What do you think happens when citizens seek out Russian spies and meet with them while the CIA and FBI are watching those Russian spies in the normal exercise of their sworn obligations?

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.1.7  JBB  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.1.2    one month ago

The CIA and FBI never admit or deny anything.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.1.8  Tessylo  replied to  JBB @3.1.1    one month ago

I know you haven't gotten taken jbb.  Pay no mind to JJ.  He's clueless.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.1.9  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.1.2    one month ago

"Like Joseph McCarthy who conducted dubious investigations, they went in with nothing and came out with nothing. They need to be held accountable."

That's what you got with Durham.  Or Turley.  Both alt-right slackers.  

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.1.10  Sparty On  replied to  JBB @3.1.6    one month ago

US citizens are not in the CIA’s charter.   If they were actively investigating any US citizen, they were breaking the law.

Full stop, no more debate needed

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.11  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @3.1.1    one month ago

How can anyone take that claim seriously when you never, ever, ever offer up a single shred of proof for your outlandish claims?

You have been making that post or others similar for months now---you'd think that for just ONCE you would be able to prove it.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.12  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @3.1.7    one month ago
The CIA and FBI never admit or deny anything.

Then how do you know they were investigating Trump since 2014?

Gee, ALL those agencies worldwide 
"investigating" for YEARS, and not a one can come up with enough evidence to even charge Trump, never mind convict him?

Yeah...right!

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.1.13  JBB  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.11    one month ago

That is a lie. I have given proof. You ignored it.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
3.1.14  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.12    one month ago
Gee, ALL those agencies worldwide "investigating" for YEARS, and not a one can come up with enough evidence to even charge Trump, never mind convict him?

Hilarious isn't it?

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.1.15  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.12    one month ago

The rantings of deluded minds never make sense.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
3.1.16  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  JBB @3.1.13    one month ago
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Links_between_Trump_associates_and_Russian_officials#:~:text=By%20April%2019%2C%202019%2CThe,2016%20campaign%20and%20presidential%20transition.%22

When you open that link, you'll notice that on the right side of each "paragraph" is a little icon that looks like a pen.  If you click on that "pen" it allows you to edit the information presented.  Meaning any schlub with a computer can change all that.

You are going to have to find a better source for your "information".

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.1.17  Sparty On  replied to  JBB @3.1.13    one month ago

[Deleted]

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3.1.18  Sean Treacy  replied to  JBB @3.1.7    one month ago
The CIA and FBI never admit or deny anything

Wow.  They literally published a voluminous IG Report detailing who they  investigated and why. 

Maybe if you read it you'd stop spreading disinformation. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3.1.19  Sean Treacy  replied to  Sparty On @3.1.10    one month ago
US citizens are not in the CIA’s charter.

It it funny seeing him relentlessly accuse the  Obama admin of breaking the law

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
3.1.20  JBB  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1.18    one month ago

original

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.21  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @3.1.13    one month ago
That is a lie. I have given proof. You ignored it.

Where?

When?

Post it again!

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
3.1.22  Sean Treacy  replied to  JBB @3.1.20    one month ago

Lol... Resorting  to memes that have nothing to do with your lie about FBI surveillance.   No surprise.

I get your need to deflect from Durham's investigation.  Can you be less obvious about it?   Something a little more thought out than blatantly transparent misinformation and random memes?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.23  Texan1211  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.1.22    one month ago

The ridiculous part (correction--it is all ridiculous) is that when pressed for proof that Trump was being investigated by multiple agencies worldwide, he shows some crap from the Senate.

Sad.

He can't back up his silly claims, and we all know it by now.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
3.1.24  Sparty On  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.23    one month ago

SOSDD .... for NTers

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
4  Dismayed Patriot    one month ago
"James Baker as long been a lightning rod for critics"

"he previously failed turned over a critical piece of evidence"

"What was most striking statement arose"

"This include extensive questions"

Besides all the errors in grammar (apparently this seed was edited by a 5th grader) this is just another long winded pout from poor Turley who has been sucking at the sour teat of right wing conservatives for several years now. He whines over and over about Baker not coming forward with a tweet from years ago once the Durham investigation began and acts as if anyone in the justice department and even those who have retired should be scouring all their past texts and emails to try and find something nefarious to attack the Clinton campaign with.

Again, this entire investigation is horse shit and all about bitter conservatives finding something, anything, against Clinton and the Democrats. It is a partisan witch hunt and so far the whacky conservatives are proclaiming everyone must be a witch even though so far they've proven that campaign money for opposition research was misfiled as a different expenditure and a lawyer may not have directly admitted his connection to the Clinton campaign when he gave them some valuable intel regarding the MANY connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, connections that a Republican Senate investigation found "represented a grave counterintelligence threat". But that's not what's important to sniveling spineless right wing conservatives and Trump sycophants, no, it's the misreporting of campaign finance money. Sure, they turn a blind eye to Trump when he used campaign funds to pay off multiple porn whores he fucked, but they're desperate to hang someone, anyone, connected to the Clinton campaign to distract from their monumentally incompetent and "grave counterintelligence threat" Trump campaign.

Once again, conservative prove their hypocrisy truly knows no bounds.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @4    one month ago

This trial is barely being covered by the mainstream media. I dont think even Fox News pays any attention to it. 

The blunt truth is that even if everything the right alleges took place to create this so called hoax took place just as they suggest, there is still nothing there. It is a nothing burger on steroids. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
4.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1    one month ago
This trial is barely being covered by the mainstream media.

Lol.. One can only wonder why the people who lied about Trump don't want to cover it.

 
 
 
Sparty On
Professor Principal
4.1.2  Sparty On  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.1    one month ago

Lol .... exactly 

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
Professor Participates
4.1.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.1    one month ago
One can only wonder why the people who lied about Trump don't want to cover it

The MSM covered the Trump/Russia connections story, they did not confirm any collusion, how exactly did they lie? The real question should be why so many Trump sycophants don't care about how many people lied FOR Trump like Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, even Michael Cohen plead guilty to lying to congress about the Trump Tower Moscow project. But clearly none of that matters to anyone with their heads firmly shoved up Trumps voluminous ass.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Expert
6  Sean Treacy    one month ago

 how exactly did they lie?

Imagine saying that in public. Wow.  The circular reasoning is impressive. The media reports fakes connections that don't exist, but it's okay because they were  just covering a story about connections.  

Start with the Alfa bank lie that's the focus of this trial. Completely fabricated story pushed by left wing outlets and the Clinton campaign  to claim a connection between Trump and Russia that didn't exist. 

 
 

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