Twitter CEO Elon Musk fired Jim Baker, the company’s deputy general counsel, on Tuesday after an “unconvincing” explanation of the terminated employee’s role in the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story.
On Sunday, independent journalist Matt Taibbi posted a link to an article from attorney Jonathan Turley published in the New York Post which connected Baker’s work at Twitter with his prior operations peddling the Russia hoax at the Department of Justice. In 2016, Baker was the Clinton campaign’s “go-to, speed-dial contact” to plant false claims about Kremlin collusion and the Trump White House effort. Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann picked Baker to give junk intelligence about a purported connection between President Donald Trump and the Russian Alfa Bank.
“He was effectively forced out due to his role and reportedly found himself under criminal investigation. He became a defender of the Russian investigations despite findings of biased and even criminal conduct,” Turley wrote. “After leaving the FBI, Twitter seemed eager to hire Baker as deputy general counsel.”
The first batch of “Twitter Files” out on Friday revealed how Baker went on to play an instrumental role in suppressing blockbuster stories from the New York Post about Hunter Biden’s laptop and the Biden family business ventures — stories containing emails that implicated then-candidate Joe Biden in the dealings.
“Baker soon weighed in with the same signature bias that characterized the Russian investigations,” Turley wrote. Internal documents made public last week show Baker pressed colleagues at Twitter for more information that Biden’s emails had been hacked.
“Caution is warranted,” Baker wrote, despite there never being evidence the emails were illegally hacked.
Musk responded to Taibbi’s post on Tuesday with the announcement that Baker had been fired.
“In light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue, he was exited from Twitter today,” Musk wrote.
“Was he asked to explain himself?” inquired a user.
“Yes. His explanation was …unconvincing,” Musk replied.
In a “Twitter Files Supplemental” thread, Taibbi explained that last week’s delay in publishing the first round of files was due to Baker reviewing them without new Twitter leadership knowing.
“Twitter Deputy General Counsel (and former FBI General Counsel) Jim Baker was fired. Among the reasons? Vetting the first batch of ‘Twitter Files’ — without knowledge of new management,” Taibbi wrote.
The post suggests Baker was running interference behind Musk’s back to minimize the fallout over the reveal of Twitter’s behind-the-scenes operations to elect Joe Biden in 2020.
While general counsel at the FBI, Baker was central to the agency’s deep-state operations to undermine Trump as an agent of the Russian government. According to former FBI Deputy General Counsel Trisha Anderson in her testimony before House lawmakers in 2018, Baker “personally reviewed and made edits to the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act]” warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The ex-FBI counsel would later defend the agency’s conduct, telling Yahoo News that officials took “seriously” the uncorroborated dossier commissioned by the DNC that alleged collusion, but “we didn’t necessarily take it literally.”
The agency’s legal chief, however, took it seriously enough to sign off on warrants to spy on political opponents. At least two of the warrant applications to conduct government surveillance on Page were declared illegal by a federal judge.