Home Politics Top Lawyer For Obama-Era FBI ‘Nervous’ About DOJ Inspector General Investigation

Top Lawyer For Obama-Era FBI ‘Nervous’ About DOJ Inspector General Investigation


James Baker, a career government attorney who wound up as the the FBI’s top lawyer (general counsel) in 2014, says he’s ‘nervous‘ about DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s internal investigation into FBI/DOJ conduct surrounding the 2016 US election.

Sitting down at the Brookings Institute with Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes, Baker made clear that he wanted to speak “as openly as I possibly can” about the origin of the FBI’s investigation into Donald Trump – “to reassure the American people that it was done for lawful, legitimate reasons, and was apolitical,” reports the Washington Examiner‘s Jerry Dunleavy.

For those keeping track, we’ve gone from “there was no spying,” to “the FBI used an informant on the Trump campaign, just don’t call him a spy,” to “ok there were multiple informants – still not spying.”

And so while Obama-era officials have scrambled to perform damage control ahead of negative potential outcomes, Attorney General William Barr, James Clapper, and the CIA’s former chief of counterintelligence (among others) have concluded that the Obama admin absolutely spied on Donald Trump and his campaign.

Barr, meanwhile, has launched a wide-ranging investigation into FBI conduct during the 2016 election, making him public enemy #1 to the left. Consequently, Democrats are now working overtime to discredit him less than three months after he ‘sailed through‘ his confirmation hearings (on the Kavanaugh scale) due to his distinguished career in Washington. Barr currently sits in contempt of the House Judiciary Committee after refusing to turn over an unredacted version of the Mueller report – despite the fact that not one Democrat has viewed the 98.5% redacted version the DOJ made available to members of Congress. 

After Barr’s “spying” bombshell, former FBI Director James Comey said he had “no idea what the heck he’s (Barr) talking about,” while last week Comey said he thinks Barr has acted “less than honorable,” and has “lost most of his reputation.

And in in what appears to be the latest in an attempt to get ahead of the narrative, James Baker – the Obama/Comey FBI’s top lawyer, sat down with Benjamin Wittes at Brookings to defend the agency’s conduct.

And Baker is nervous

Asked by Wittes “So, how nervous are you about the IG”? in reference to Inspector General Horowitz’s FISA investigation, Baker responded that he’s “always nervous about the IG,” and that “they’re coming in after the fact to look at what we did.

Baker added that during the chaotic 2016 election, the FBI was “trying to do it in real time and having the pressure to deal with these threats as they were coming,” while dealing with the backdrop of alleged Russian hacking of Democratic emails.

He also stuck with the official story as to what predicated the FBI’s counterintelligence operation on the Trump campaign, dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane” — On May 10, 2016 Trump adviser George Papadopoulos told Clinton ally and Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, that Russia had ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton. Downer told Aussie intel, which told the FBI, which launched Operation Crossfire Hurricane.

Nowhere did Baker mention Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor and self-professed member of the Clinton Foundation who is the genesis of the Russian ‘dirt’ rumor – planted it with Papadopoulos several weeks after returning from a trip to Moscow.

While the Mueller report paints Mifsud as a Russian agent, evidence points to him being in league with Western intelligence – which raises the notion of entrapment if Papadopoulos was set up by a Clinton ally, later to be pumped for information by a ‘five-eyes’ Clinton ally at a London Bar, which officially launched the investigation.

Last week, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has requested a wide swath of documents about Mifsud from several federal agencies. As the Washington Examiner noted, Nunes – the House Intelligence Committee ranking member, “seeks information about who Mifsud was working for at the time and wrote in a letter that special counsel Robert Mueller “omits any mention of a wide range of contacts Mifsud had with Western political institutions and individuals” in his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

No wonder Baker is feeling a bit on edge.

When asked about how confident he is that the FBI opened the Trump investigation for legitimate reasons and not a ‘coup,’ Baker maintained that everything was on the up and up, and that there was “no way in hell” he would have allowed a ‘coup attempt’ against Trump.

As for the FISA surveillance on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, Baker defended the FBI’s use of the infamous Steele dossier in its application – saying that after personally reviewing the FISA applications, he was “comfortable” with them and confident that the process remained “lawful.”

Of course, in recent days we’ve learned that the State Department and the FBI absolutely knew that the Steele Dossier was a political document of dubious legitimacy, and its author, former UK spy Christopher Steele, was working for Clinton/DNC-funded opposition research firm Fusion GPS to produce the document.

Still, Baker defended the agency’s handling of Steele, saying “We’re not stupid. The FBI. We’re not stupid.”

And Baker said the FBI was careful in the way it used Steele’s reporting. “We have an obligation to take that information seriously and to be highly skeptical … You go to work … You try to validate it … We don’t just swallow it hook, line, and sinker. … We spent a lot of time trying to vet that information line by line,” he said.

We are the Federal Bureau of Investigations, not the Federal Bureau of Conclusions,” Baker said defensively.

Steele has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks. The Wall Street Journal reported that Horowitz “is homing in on” and “has been asking witnesses about” the FBI’s “treatment of information” provided by Steele. And the New York Times reported that the FBI reached out to some of Steele’s foreign sources and as early as January 2017 agents had reportedly concluded that some of the dossier’s contents may have been based upon “rumors and hearsay” which were “passed from source to source.” The agents believed that some of Steele’s information may have even been based upon “Russian disinformation.” –Washington Examiner

For more insight into where Obama-era US intel officials are coming from, the entire Baker interview can be seen below:

via zerohedge


  1. Well, if it wasn’t “spying” would it be more accurate to referred to it as “ESPIONAGE BY ANTI-AMERICAN POWERS TO OVERTHROW A LAWFULLY ELECTED ADMINISTRATION”?

    THAT should make it sound like a PUBLIC HANGING offense…


    • Yes I like the way you put it since these monster Demon-rats seem to be offended by the word spying which they clearly did do. Obama the most corrupt President we have seen surrounded himself with nothing but crooks and anti-american traitors I hope they will put all of them in jail and Obama and Hillary should be the first ones in their stripped pants suits. That would be the day to really celebrate.

  2. These guys are flat out lying about the coup and the elaborate scheme with 5Eyes to pull it off. Everyone in Washington DC knows exactly what is happening and absolutely no one is doing anything about it. All talk, no action. The coup continues as if it is the legal thing to do.

  3. If anyone deserves to be punished, it’s Barack Obama. It all leads to him. If Biden doesn’t get the nomination or is defeated in the election, that a total repudiation of Obama’s 8 years in office. I’ve never seen a black person lynched but when it comes to Obama, I’ll bring the pop corn!

  4. Say Mr. Baker, you and your PLCSID Friends are seriously delusional, when that Christopher Steele Russian-Trump Dossier, and Mr. Steele was trying to find a buyer for this truly Unverified Bunch of LIES, you and Mr. Comey, Mrs. HRC and other Extremely Biased Progressive Liberal Commie Socialist Infested Democrat’s and Those Never Trumpster FAKE Republican Friends, were from the very beginning of the 2016 US Presidential Race For The White House began, was going to try to take every single US Presidential Candidate Out, So that The Rigged PLCSI Democrat Mrs. HRC was supposed to win The 2016 US Presidential Election, which in Reality Mrs. HRC WAS A BIG TIME LOSER!

  5. They’re all nervous and the desperation is evident by the lies and subpoenas being issued against our President, his family, and anyone in his administration with the backbone to stand up to their corrupt tactics. (It’s disgusting that they have even subpoenaed for Trump’s grandkid’s bank records – their ages are between 2 and 12.)Praying the truth comes out and the people behind this atrocity all get to spend a lot of time together. Maybe on a nice island like Cuba? Gitmo comes to mind…

      • “Look, the average democrat voter is just plain stupid. They’re easy to manipulate. That’s the easy part.” ~ Hillary Clinton in Rewriting History 2005, What did Hillary have to hide, she didn’t do anything wrong, did she??? why didn’t she give all her emails??? shes is an alcoholic, drug addict, a liar, murderer of Seth Rich, and Vince Foster who turned her emails to Wikileaks, she can’t walk, can’t talk, was coughing, and pedophile billy boy had to talk for her, you wanted them to be president, are you a retard stupid liberal demon-rat, we the people voted for a non politician that is not stealing us blind, and you want more theft of our money, and destruction of our economy, you have shit for brains

  6. Let’s assume they may have felt they had a legitimate purpose to spy on the Trump Campaign.
    Then we look at how they went about it and the information they used to justify it. Baker has a right to be worried because his scenario and Comey’s as well does not agree with the facts. I believe Mueller and Rosenstein are both looking to escape by turning against their friend Comey so we will see what happens but I think this is going to be a from the top down investigation and some big fish are going to get burned.

    • I hope they are not burned but are swinging from above the steps of the RFK and Hoover buildings. The only way to stop politicians and life long gov’t workers is the punishment MUST be worse then the crimes they are found guilty of.

  7. “…Baker defended the agency’s handling of Steele, saying “We’re not stupid. The FBI. We’re not stupid.” Sounds like Fredo Corleone in “The GodFather”. He was a traitor also.

  8. “We’re not stupid. The FBI. We’re not stupid.”
    Maybe, maybe not. That will be determined. But you certainly corrupt to the core.

  9. The Democrats and news media are starting to look like a bunch of bumble bees trapped in a jar because they know how politically motivated and illegal their behavior has been since trump started his campaign . These people have lost all self respect and now that their pants are down america can see that there is not much down below and their shame is showing . Get to work you morons on what we pay you to do , there is North Korea, Russia, China and the huge invasion going on at the border and all you people care about what trump did wrong when he built his casino’s . You people are making laughing stock’s out of yourself and our country in front of the entire world but your hate for trump and loosing the white house forbids you from acting like adults . the news media and democrats should step down and see if there is a circus looking for clowns because when i see you people on t v all i could do is picture you people in clown suites .

  10. The FBI may not be ‘stupid’, but certain high ranking members of the FBI certainly appear to have acted stupidly in this entire matter.

  11. a try to over turn the american votes from trump to hilliary was the main go and to think they want him impeached and in jail if that is not a coup what the hell is it? a lot of people need to go to jail over this all are covering one another asses every where you turn the democrats want anything and everything on trump but nothing on obama the lier or hilliary who worked with the Russians who got rich on the uranium deal what right have the clintons got to sale uranium to people who want to kill every american who every lived they pass the uranium on to not Korea and iran helping them make nukes this bunch of traders all need to die in jail there is 25 democrats who are in office right now that is not worth the powder to blow them to hell if we don’t wake up its over for america

  12. What did Hillary have to hide, she didn’t do anything wrong, did she??? why didn’t she give all her emails??? shes is an alcoholic, drug addict, a liar, murderer of Seth Rich, and Vince Foster who turned her emails to Wikileaks, she can’t walk, can’t talk, was coughing, and pedophile billy boy had to talk for her, you wanted them to be president, are you a retard stupid liberal demon-rat, we the people voted for a non politician that is not stealing us blind, and you want more theft of our money, and destruction of our economy, you have shit for brains
    look at the high waste, and pollution our cars are producing, a 200 mpg Porge vapor carburetor sitting in the patient office collecting dust, liquid gas does not burn, Volkswagen has a 264 mpg diesel not coming here, boycott the oil company owned auto company’s, spread the word.
    The only thing that will bring us out of this depression is free energy, hydrogen from water, have this as your debate, you can make all the hydrogen, as you drive from a tank of water, you know our space shuttles,are powered by hydrogen / oxygen made from water, tell every one not buy a new car / truck, to boycott the auto company’s, when they can’t sell their pieces of junk low mileage vehicles, they will have to bring out water to hydrogen powered vehicles, and kits to change the vehicles now that we have, just think what our world would be like with free energy. Do you want your world back? spread the word boycott the auto company’s that are destroying our world. the inventor of the water to hydrogen auto was murdered by our Democrat Government, get
    mad get real mad of the Democrats. Also audit all the Senator’s and representatives, they have wasted, and stole our money, make them repay all, and tax them. Do these 2 things, and the Demo rats will be finished, don’t do this and the civil war, will escalate, and the economy will collapse, get this out all over the USA. this is the only thing that will bring the economy around.put this out , and spread the word to boycott the auto company’s don’t buy a new car/ or truck. do this Trump, and we will have our dreams back again.

  13. “Nervous” about what?
    Democrat/Leftist/socialist/Communists are NEVER prosecuted-so you can sleep calmlytonight, Baker.

  14. I believe Mr. Baker and anyone serving during the Omama era, and Mr. Wray currently serving as head of the FBI, are all guilty as hell, and should be charged.

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