Top FBI lawyer allegedly under criminal investigation for leaks

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
July 28, 2017US News
Top FBI lawyer allegedly under criminal investigation for leaks
FBI General Counsel James A. Baker is being investigated for leaking classified information to the media. (University of Michigan)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is allegedly conducting a criminal investigation into a top FBI lawyer, according to multiple government officials who spoke to Circa reporter Sara Carter.

FBI General Counsel James A. Baker is being investigated for leaking classified information to the media. The revelation surfaced shortly after DOJ Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he would soon be making an announcement regarding the progress of leak investigations.

An FBI spokeswoman would not comment on Baker or confirm or deny any investigation. A DOJ official would not comment on Baker, but said that the upcoming announcement is regarding “stepped up efforts on leak investigations.”

The three sources who spoke with Circa said that Baker is the top suspect in the ongoing criminal investigation, but would not specify which classified information he leaked. A federal law enforcement official added that “the bureau is scouring for leakers and there’s been a lot of investigations.”

Baker is close to former FBI Director James Comey, who appointed him to the general counsel position in 2014.

“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,” Comey said in a press release about Baker’s appointment.

New York Magazine reported in June that Baker advised Comey on meetings Comey held with President Donald Trump.

The news of the investigation comes on the heels of recent leaks from White House communications staff, which came despite warnings from the new Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci. Michael Short, a press aide at the White House, resigned on July 25 after Scaramucci spoke about firing him for leaks.

The Trump administration has been dealing with an unprecedented deluge of leaks, which some view as an attempt from within the government to thwart the president’s agenda and undermine his presidency.

Baker worked in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice during the 1990s, according to a brief biography on the FBI website. He had served at the DOJ since 1996. Baker received some of the highest awards from the NSA, CIA, and DOJ.

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