Comey’s top FBI lawyer James Baker admits he’s ’nervous,’ opens some distance between himself and the conspirators

We just got a glimpse of the coming lines of defense for the deposed political cabal that formerly ran the FBI, as well as the limits of loyalty among them.   

Former FBI General Counsel James Baker spoke in public Friday, before a very friendly crowd at the Brookings Institution, where James Comey's pal Benjamin Wittes, a fellow there, organized a public event where the two men spoke. He revealed some useful indications of what’s going on among the cabal that weaponized the FBI’s counterintelligence apparatus against candidate and then President Donald Trump.

Jerry Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner reports:

Former FBI General Counsel James Baker admitted on Friday that he is “nervous” about DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into the conduct of the DOJ and the FBI during the Trump-Russia probe. (snip)

Baker said he is “assuming that they will dig and find stuff” and that “we’ll try to sort it out and see what mistakes were made.” But Baker defended the FBI's actions, including its use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

So, he’s blaming “mistakes” not conscious planning for the abuses he knows will be uncovered. He has not turned state’s evidence.

But most importantly, Baker seems to be allowing that others may have committed crimes and concealed them from him:

Wittes then asked Baker: “So, how nervous are you about the IG?”

Baker said he is “always nervous about the IG," adding that “they’re coming in after the fact to look at what we did." At the time, he said, the FBI was “trying to do it in real time and having the pressure to deal with these threats as they were coming.”

Baker contended that he was “confident in the judgments that I made at the time based on the information that I had available to me.” But he left open the possibility that others may have engaged in wrongdoing, saying, “I’m sure they will find things that I didn’t know at the time and maybe that others didn’t know at the time.” [emphases added]

He went to define himself as not a conspirator, not a rat, but maybe a dupe:

“There were facts that existed in the Bureau that were known by certain people that weren’t known by others including me, that’s certainly possible and that happens frequently,” Baker said. “And so, I’m assuming that they will dig and find stuff like that. So, we’ll try to sort it out and see what mistakes were made.”

Baker also is sticking to the Party Line that the FISA warrants were lawful:

 Baker defended the FBI’s use of the Steele dossier and stressed that he examined the FISA warrant applications on Page before they got signed and sent to the court. He said he was “comfortable” with their contents and was confident that the process remained “lawful.” Regarding the FISA court, Baker said: “These are federal judges for goodness' sake. They know how to evaluate wiretap applications. ... These are serious, serious judges.”

On the bureau’s handling of Steele, Baker said, “We’re not stupid. The FBI. We’re not stupid.”

And Baker said the FBI was careful in the way it used Steele’s reporting. “We have an obligation to take that information seriously and to be highly skeptical … You go to work … You try to validate it … We don’t just swallow it hook, line, and sinker. ... We spent a lot of time trying to vet that information line by line," he said.

“We are the Federal Bureau of Investigations, not the Federal Bureau of Conclusions,” Baker said defensively.

Except, of course, when James Comey concluded that “no reasonable prosecutor” would have taken Hillary’s Clinton’s clearly evident violation of the National Security Act with her unsecured email server used for classified information.

Hat tip: Roger Luchs

Photo credit: Conservapedia

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