James Baker, a former top FBI lawyer, told congressional investigators on Wednesday that the Russia probe was handled in an “abnormal fashion” and was rife with “political bias” according to Fox News, citing two Republican lawmakers present for the closed-door deposition.
“Some of the things that were shared were explosive in nature,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told Fox News. “This witness confirmed that things were done in an abnormal fashion. That’s extremely troubling.”
Meadows claimed the “abnormal” handling of the probe into alleged coordination between Russian officials and the Trump presidential campaign was “a reflection of inherent bias that seems to be evident in certain circles.” The FBI agent who opened the Russia case, Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and others sent politically charged texts, and have since left the bureau. –Fox News
Baker, who worked closely with former FBI Director James Comey, left the bureau earlier this year.
Lawmakers did not provide any specifics about the interview, citing a confidentiality agreement signed with Baker and his attorneys, however they said that he was cooperative and forthcoming about the beginnings of the Russia probe in 2016, as well as the FISA surveillance warrant application to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
“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. –Fox News
According to Fox, 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.”
As the FBI’s top lawyer, baker helped secure the FISA warrant on Page, along with three subsequent renewals.
Rosenstein is scheduled to appear on Capitol Hill on October 11 for a closed-door interview, according to Republican House sources, “not a briefing to leadership,” and comes on the heels of a New York Times report that said Rosenstein had discussed secretly recording President Trump and removing him from office using the 25th Amendment.
Rosenstein and Trump pushed off a scheduled meeting into limbo amid speculation of his impending firing.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters Wednesday the meeting remains in limbo.
“If there’s a meeting, we’ll let you know,” she said. “But at this point, they continue to work together and both show up every day and do their jobs.” –Fox News