While the nation’s media are consumed with Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, intrepid heroes Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees, were grilling the former top lawyer of the FBI, James Baker, behind closed doors. Baker, recall, was the right-hand man of James Comey and was closely involved in the FISA warrants that authorized electronic surveillance of the Trump campaign and presidency. Baker has since left the FBI. Some speculate that he is cooperating, but he notably came to the hearing with a bevy of lawyers representing him and the FBI.
Screen grab: Fox News.
Catherine Herridge of Fox News was able to elicit some comment on the testimony from Reps. Meadows and Jordan, though it remains confidential for now:
“During the time that the FBI was putting – that DOJ and FBI were putting together the FISA (surveillance warrant) during the time prior to the election – there was another source giving information directly to the FBI, which we found the source to be pretty explosive,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
Meadows and Jordan would not elaborate on the source, or answer questions about whether the source was a reporter. They did stress that the source who provided information to the FBI’s Russia case was not previously known to congressional investigators.
Baker is at the heart of surveillance abuse allegations, and his deposition lays the groundwork for next week’s planned closed-door interview with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Baker, as the FBI’s top lawyer, helped secure the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant on Page, as well as three subsequent renewals. Prior to the deposition, Republican investigators said they believed Baker could explain why information about the British ex-spy behind a salacious Trump-related dossier, Christopher Steele, and Steele’s apparent bias against then-candidate Trump, were withheld from the FISA court, and whether other exculpatory information was known to Rosenstein when he signed the final FISA renewal for Page in June 2017.
Fox News asked Baker after the deposition about the handling of the Trump dossier, what he told Rosenstein about exculpatory evidence, and whether he is the subject of an FBI leak investigation. Baker told Fox News he could not answer such questions.