James Baker, the FBI’s top lawyer during the 2016 U.S. presidential race, is the subject of a criminal investigation for allegedly leaking to the media, House Republicans revealed.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina disclosed the probe’s existence Tuesday in a letter seeking further details from the Department of Justice.
“We are writing to request additional information about your ongoing criminal investigation of James Baker,” the congressmen wrote to John Durham, the U.S attorney for Connecticut.
Daniel Levin, a lawyer for Mr. Baker, the FBI’s former general counsel, mentioned the leak probe to lawmakers when his client testified on Capitol Hill last fall before members of Congress investigating the Justice Department’s conduct during the 2016 race, according to a transcript of the interview cited in the letter.
“I’m sorry, I’m going to cut — not let him answer these questions right now,” Mr. Baker’s lawyer told lawmakers, according to the transcript. “You may or may not know, he’s been the subject of a leak investigation which is still — a criminal leak investigation that’s still active at the Justice Department.”
“I’m not comfortable having him talk about things he has said to reporters while the Department still has an ongoing investigation,” Mr. Levin said during an Oct. 3 interview, the transcript continued. “I’m not going to let him answer the questions about whether he had conversations with reporters.”
The leak probe is being led by Mr. Durham, a longtime prosecutor appointed U.S. to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut by President Trump in 2017, Mr. Levin said during the interview.
“Without being apprised of the contours of your leak investigation and Baker’s role, we run the risk of inadvertently interfering with your prosecutorial plans,” the two Republicans wrote Mr. Durham.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut declined to comment.
Mr. Baker served as FBI’s general counsel from January 2014 through December 2017, when he was reassigned by Director Chris Wray prior to ultimately leaving the bureau in May.
Politico reported about the time of his reassignment that Mr. Baker was being investigated by House Republicans over his contacts with a journalist, David Corn, during the 2016 presidential race. A reporter for Mother Jones, Mr. Corn was the first to report on the salacious so-called “Steele dosser” that spurred the government’s investigation into the election, albeit more than a week before the race concluded.
© Copyright (c) 2019 News World Communications, Inc.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.