James Baker distances himself from dossier admitting he is ‘concerned’
Obama’s top FBI attorney James Baker said on Friday has distanced himself from the Steele dossier admitting he was “concerned” about its authenticity after the agency received it in the run-up to the 2016 US election.
“It was more information that we viewed, that I viewed, skeptically from the outset, and I was concerned about it and had a jaundiced eye, or looked at it with a jaundiced eye right from the outset,” Baker told MSNBC’s, Chuck Todd.
“Steele was and had been a source that we thought was reliable. He’s reporting all this information. It looks alarming. We took it seriously, but we tried to vet it.”
Attorney General Willaim Barr said FBI’s use of the unverified Steele Dossier as counterintelligence against Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was “very unusual” and will be investigated.
AG Barr said during a Fox News interview that aired Friday that “we’re gonna have to look at” why the Bureau used a piece of opposition research from a rival campaign to spy on Trump’s team.
The dossier contained various memos compiled by an ex-British spy Christopher Steele, funded by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, then used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.
Baker also added that he believed the FISA warrants against Page would have been granted without using the dossier.
“I don’t think I should comment on that; I’m not sure what else the government has confirmed,” and adding “I don’t want to confirm or deny anything about other potential FISA applications.”
James Comey, who is a key player implicated in Russia hoax, is tweeting against the Atty General looking into his role. https://t.co/igx0LdjFc2
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) May 18, 2019
Last month, Barr testified before the Senate committee he believed the FBI did spy on the Trump campaign in 2016.
Barr was called on by Trump to investigate the FBI’s counterintelligence probe.
Barr stated earlier that he was preparing to investigate anti-Trump bias in the FBI’s 2016 probe into the Trump campaign and reiterated that to the Senate appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday that he believes “spying did occur,” and will investigate whether that surveillance was “predicated.”
“I have an obligation to make sure government power is not abused,” Barr added.
Baker added he wanted to speak “as openly as I possibly can” on the FBI’s investigation into Donald Trump origin.
He added, “to reassure the American people that it was done for lawful, legitimate reasons, and was apolitical,” Washington Examiner reported.