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Tag: james baker

Two Top FBI Aides to James Comey Who Came Under Fire Resign

Lisa Page, via social media.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Two top FBI aides to James Comey when he was the FBI director have resigned from the bureau.

James Baker, who served as the bureau’s general counsel, and Lisa Page, another FBI lawyer, resigned Friday, the New York Times reports

Baker was under investigation last year on allegations he disclosed classified information to a reporter. Page came under fire for after the release of text messages between her and FBI Agent Peter Strzok, both of whom attacked President Trump in text messages to each other.

“A great public servant retired from the FBI today,” Comey tweeted in response to Baker’s resignation. “Jim Baker’s integrity and commitment to the rule of law have benefitted our country through 5 presidents, of both parties. We are fortunate he and so many others choose to devote their lives to justice.”

Baker plans to become a visiting fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institute and editor-in-chief of the blog.

Page is said to have another job lined up, but it’s unclear what that is.

Ethics Lawyers: Trump’s Tweets May Amount to Witness Intimidation

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s persistent and stubborn Twitter attacks may finally land him in hot water.

Several legal experts said Trump’s drumbeat of criticism of the FBI may amount to witness intimidation.

In less than a week, Trump slammed former FBI Director James Comey, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and outgoing FBI general counsel James Baker.

In a tweet on Saturday, Trump blasted Comey for helping leak a memo to a reporter. The president also claimed that McCabe’s wife’s state Senate campaign received $700,000 from “puppets” of Hillary Clinton.

On Sunday, Trump suggested that McCabe used “his FBI Official Email Account to promote (his wife’s) campaign. You obviously cannot do this.”

Richard Painter, the top ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, said the president is making special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation easier.

Newsweek wrote:

The FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller are investigating Trump’s 2016 campaign, including whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey in May—and it’s possible that Comey, McCabe and Baker could be witnesses in that probe. Comey has already testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in June, and McCabe met with the House Intelligence Committee on December 19. Both committees are overseeing their own investigations into Russia’s election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign. On December 21, McCabe also met with members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary Committee.

Norm Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and special assistant for ethics and government reform for former President Barack Obama, said Trump is at risk of “witness tampering charges.”

New FBI Director Wray to Reassign Bureau’s Top Lawyer

Top FBI attorney James Baker

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s top lawyer, James Baker, is being reassigned as the bureau’s new director, Christopher Wray, begins making changes at the senior levels of the agency.

Baker, whom the Washington Post describes as “one of the most trusted, longest-serving national security officials in the government,” informed his colleagues that he expects Wray to appoint a new head of the FBI’s Office of General Counsel. 

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Wray has chosen Baker’s replacement yet.

Baker told colleagues that his reassignment may not take effect immediately and that the move was not unusual when a new director takes over.

Ex-Fed Prosecutor James Baker Named General Counsel for FBI

James Baker

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James A. Baker, a former federal prosecutor,  has been named the general counsel for the FBI.

Baker, a University of Michigan Law School graduate, clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Bernard A. Friedman in Detroit before joining the Department of Justice with the Criminal Division through the Attorney General’s Honors Program in 1990. He worked as a federal prosecutor with the division’s Fraud Section.

In 1996, he joined the former Office of Intelligence Policy and Review (OIPR), which later became part of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

From 2001 to 2007, he served as counsel for intelligence policy and head of OIPR.

Back in 2006, Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post reported  that in 2004 Baker discovered “the government’s failure to share information about its spying program had rendered useless a federal screening system that the judges had insisted upon to shield the court from tainted information. He alerted (U.S. District Judge Colleen)  Kollar-Kotelly, who complained to Justice, prompting a temporary suspension of the NSA spying program.”

From 2008 to 2009, Baker was assistant general counsel for national security at Verizon Business. He then returned to the Justice Department and from 2009 to 2011, served as an associate deputy attorney general where he worked on a range of national security issues, including cyber security.

He last worked as associate general counsel for  Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge fund firms based in Connecticut.

“Jim’s experience as a career prosecutor and as a national security official, as well his experience in the private sector, make him an excellent fit for his new position here at the FBI,” FBI Director James Comey said in a statement.

 

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