In a series of announcements that indicate the integrity of two independent journalists and the depths to which new Twitter CEO Elon Musk will have to dig in order to clean the corporation of its bottom-dwellers, reporters Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss (both now publishing at Substack – here, for Mr. Taibbi’s work and here, for Ms. Weiss’ work) and Mr. Musk have confirmed that the first batch of Twitter emails which Taibbi released last week were FILTERED – without their knowledge -- by infamous former FBI General Counsel, James Baker.
That is the same James Baker who in 2016 was integral in pushing the “Russian Collusion” hoax, and who was key at Twitter for censoring the NY Post reports on the Hunter Biden laptop.
On December 6, Taibbi published a thread on Twitter covering what he had discovered about Baker’s influence over the information Taibbi was able to release. Bari Weiss confirmed his statements, and Elon Musk confirmed that he had just fired Baker from his post as Twitter legal counsel.
“On Friday, the first installment of the Twitter files was published here. We expected to publish more over the weekend. Many wondered why there was a delay.
We can now tell you part of the reason why. On Tuesday, 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.
The process for producing the ‘Twitter Files’ involved delivery to two journalists (Bari Weiss and me) via a lawyer close to new management. However, after the initial batch, things became complicated.
Over the weekend, while we both dealt with obstacles to new searches, it was
who discovered that the person in charge of releasing the files was someone named Jim. When she called to ask ‘Jim’s’ last name, the answer came back: ‘Jim Baker.’”
Taibbi revealed a screen shot that included Baker’s last name as part of a file title for batched Twitter documents, and he observed:
“The first batch of files both reporters received was marked, ‘Spectra Baker Emails.’”
“Baker is a controversial figure. He has been something of a Zelig of FBI controversies dating back to 2016, from the Steele Dossier to the Alfa-Server mess. He resigned in 2018 after an investigation into leaks to the press.”
In referencing the Steele Dossier and the Alfer-Server situation, Taibbi draws attention to Baker’s key role in spreading false information that might have had an effect on the 2020 Presidential election. Georgetown Law professor, attorney, and commentator Jonathan Turley notes:
“Baker has been featured repeatedly in the Russian investigations launched by the Justice Department, including the hoax involving the Russian Alfa Bank. When Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann wanted to plant the bizarre false claim of a secret communications channel between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, Baker was his go-to, speed-dial contact. (Baker would later testify at Sussmann’s trial). Baker’s name also appeared prominently in controversies related to the other Russian-related FBI allegations against Trump. 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. He was also a frequent target of Donald Trump on social media, including Twitter. Baker responded with public criticism of Trump for his ‘false narratives.’”
Of course the FBI also held onto the Hunter Biden laptop, despite its provenance and the possibility that its contents could be relevant for potential criminal referrals citing Hunter, his father, and others. That information eventually was covered by the New York Post, but, as Turley observes:
“However, at the request of the ‘Biden team’ and Democratic operatives, Twitter moved to block the story. It even suspended those who tried to share the allegations with others, including the White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who was suspended (from Twitter) for linking to the scandal.
Even inside Twitter, the move raised serious concerns over the company serving as a censor for the Biden campaign. Global Comms Brandon Borrman who (sic) asked if the company could “truthfully claim that this is part of the policy” for barring posts and suspending users.
Baker quickly jumped in to support the censorship and said that ‘it’s reasonable for us to assume that they may have been [hacked] and that caution is warranted.’”
Of course, it wasn’t reasonable to assume any such thing, he either knew the truth, or was toweringly negligent for making such an absurd claim.
And Baker closely worked with well-known censorship-pusher, then-Chief Twitter Legal Counsel Vijaya Gadde, whom Musk gave the heave-ho before Baker.
“It is striking how many of the figures and institutions involved in Russian collusion claims are within six degrees of James Baker. Not only did Baker work closely with fired FBI director James Comey and other key figures at the Justice Department, but he was an acquaintance of key Clinton figures like Sussmann (Michael Sussman, former Hillary Clinton Campaign lawyer) who pushed the false collusion allegations. He was also hired by Brookings Institution, which also has a curious Bacon-like role in the origins and development of the false Russian collusion allegations.”
Is it any wonder that Taibbi, Weiss, and Musk all exhibited justified frustration and amazement in their discovery that the very man who vetted the first batch of Twitter email files – many of which had to do with Twitter’s decisions to stifle valid information about the Hunter Biden laptop – was the same individual who played a central role in censoring that information in the first place?
“My jaw hit the floor.”
And Miranda Devine writes for the NY Post that additional details have emerged indicating FBI employees were “prebunking” the Hunter story -- i.e. creating an atmosphere in which the story would be viewed with unjustified skepticism:
“The FBI warned Twitter during ‘weekly’ meetings before the 2020 election to expect ‘hack-and-leak operations’ by ‘state actors’ involving Hunter Biden, and ‘likely’ in October, according to a sworn declaration by Twitter’s former head of site integrity, Yoel Roth.
The warnings were so specific that Twitter immediately censored The Post’s scoop about Hunter Biden’s laptop on Oct. 14, 2020, citing its ‘hacked materials’ policy, a move described on Saturday as ‘election interference’ by Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk.”
Incredible. And, surely, more news of the kind of activity is in store.
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