Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said Sunday that it’s no “coincidence” Jim Baker got a top a job at Twitter after pushing the Russian collusion narrative during his time at the FBI.
Ratcliffe, who served under the Trump administration, told “Sunday Morning Futures” anchor Maria Bartiromo that Baker, who was recently fired by new Twitter CEO Elon Musk for “suppression” of information, has a long history of anti-Trump, pro-Democratic bias at the FBI, and that he doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence that he wound up as Twitter’s deputy general counsel.
“I don’t think that’s a coincidence at all,” Ratcliffe said. “Jim Baker is the person who was involved in writing an exoneration memo for Hillary Clinton, having classified information on her server before the FBI ever interviewed her. He’s the person who hand-carried information from Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer, Michael Sussmann, into the FBI, false information about a relationship between the Trump campaign and the Russian Alfa Bank. It continued on with him trying to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Donald Trump after Donald Trump fired Jim Comey. He was involved in the leak investigation involving Jim Comey that was the subject of the FBI inspector general. It continues.”
“In each of these cases, Maria, Jim Baker was working and taking actions that worked to the favor of Hillary Clinton or Democrats or to the left and universally working to the detriment of Republicans, conservatives and Donald Trump,” he continued. “And that was all before he got to Twitter and got involved with suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story.”
Ratcliffe questioned whether Baker was sharing information with Twitter when he was still at the FBI.
“I don’t think that Twitter just happened to, you know, find his resume on Monster.com,” he said. “And I think what one of the things that needs to be determined is what was his relationship with Twitter before he got to Twitter and was he sharing information as the FBI general counsel, you know, to the benefit of one political party, to the detriment of another that then continued when he got to Twitter.”
Musk fired Baker last week due to concerns over his “possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue,” and it was later reported that Baker had a hand in vetting, without Musk’s knowledge, the first installment of the “Twitter Files,” which detailed the company’s suppression of the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story during the 2020 presidential election.
Baker’s name also surfaced in the first installment of the “Twitter Files” due to internal company discussions in 2020 about whether the Hunter Biden laptop story fell under Twitter’s “hacked materials” policy.
A Twitter executive had wondered in an email chain whether the company could “truthfully claim” that the laptop story was “part of the policy,” to which Baker responded, “I support the conclusion that we need more facts to assess whether the materials were hacked” but added that “it’s reasonable for us to assume that they may have been and that caution is warranted.”
Before joining Twitter, Baker worked as general counsel at the FBI, where he was a key figure in the bureau’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
On Sept. 19, 2016, less than two months before the presidential election, Baker met with then-Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann, who presented data allegedly showing a covert communications channel between the Trump Organization and the Russia-based Alfa Bank.
Sussmann was later charged with making a false statement to the FBI after being accused of telling Baker he was not doing work “for any client” when he was allegedly billing the Clinton campaign for the work. Sussmann was acquitted of the charge in May of this year.
Baker testified during Sussmann’s trial, describing Sussmann as his “friend.” He said that at the time Sussmann approached him with the Alfa Bank allegations, investigating any possible connections between Trump and Russia “was of high, high importance to the FBI.”
Baker said, however, that the FBI investigated the Alfa Bank claims for several weeks and “concluded there was no substance.”
The FBI investigation into collusion allegations was handed off to Special Counsel Robert Mueller after Trump was elected president, and after nearly two years, Mueller’s investigation yielded no evidence of collusion.
In May 2017, after Trump fired Comey, Baker was reassigned from his role as the bureau’s general counsel, which Trump celebrated at the time. Baker left the bureau one year later.
In October 2018, Baker told House investigators during a closed-door congressional interview that he was personally involved in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application to surveil then-Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
The FISA warrant relied largely on the unverified anti-Trump dossier, compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and funded by the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s presidential campaign through law firm Perkins Coie.
Baker later admitted that his role in the FISA application and his friendship with Sussmann, a then-Perkins Coie partner, was unusual.
In January 2019, the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation into Baker over the potential leaking of classified information with reporters during his time at the FBI. He was not charged.