Elon Musk has fired Twitter's deputy general counsel James A. Baker on allegations of involvement in the suppression of releasing internal documents regarding Twitter's censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. Chief Twit Musk also said that Baker's explanation regarding the events surrounding the laptop expose was "unconvincing."
"In light of concerns about Baker's possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue, he was exited from Twitter today," Musk tweeted on Tuesday confirming Baker's departure from the company following the internal investigation. Musk added that he questioned Baker several times before firing him from the post.
Baker is the latest casualty at Twitter in Musk's bid to expose and punish top bosses within the company involved in the suppression of internal documents about blocking The New York Post's Hunter Biden laptop exposÃ©.
According to journalist Matt Taibbi, who on Friday released the first round of internal documents pertaining to the Hunter scandal, Baker was let go in part for "vetting the first batch of 'Twitter Files' - without knowledge of new management."
Additionally, on Tuesday, Republican Rep. James Comer of Kentucky wrote to Baker requesting that he come before the House Oversight Committee in 2019 when the GOP is expected to regain control of the House.
Baker previously served as general counsel for the FBI under former Director James Comey and was a crucial player in the bureau's investigation into false claims of collaboration between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.
Baker collaborated with Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two vehemently anti-Trump FBI agents, during his time there. He apparently discovered himself under criminal investigation for allegedly leaking information to journalists after leaving the department in 2018.
Baker has stood by his actions regarding the Russia probe while working for the FBI.
Earlier this year, he also served as a key witness for special counsel John Durham in his case against Michael Sussmann, a former Hillary Clinton lawyer who was cleared of all charges of lying to the FBI in May.
Also, Baker has been associated with Mother Jones journalist David Corn, who first revealed the existence of the Steele Dossier, a dossier put together by British ex-spy Christopher Steele that contains a number of unsubstantiated allegations about Trump.
Before Corn announced the existence of the document on October 31, 2016, Baker allegedly spoke with him in the weeks before the November 2016 presidential election.
Twitter appointed Baker to help manage its legal staff in June 2020, a month after the social media giant faced criticism for classifying two Trump tweets claiming that mail-in ballots will result in a "rigged election" as misinformation.
Another One Bites the Dust
Baker's ouster from Twitter follows the disclosure last week of internal documents showing him and other officials debating Twitter's October 2020 restriction on a news piece about Hunter's international business agreements based on emails from his abandoned laptop,
The "Twitter Files," a collection of internal documents was released by Taibbi on Friday. Alongside he also published a conversation between Baker and former vice president of global communications Brandon Borrman.
"Can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy," Borrman asks in reference to Twitter's decision to ban an article about Hunter Biden under its "hacked materials" policy.
In his reply, Baker seemed to support keeping the restriction in place by saying that "caution is warranted."
On Tuesday, Taibbi said that Baker had been fired when it was discovered that he had been holding back the delivery of a second tranche of files to Taibbi and another journalist, Bari Weiss, and "vetting" internal documents before their publication.
Taibbi claimed that Musk, who is referred to as "new management," was unaware of Baker's involvement in evaluating the documents prior to their release.
"On Friday, the first installment of the Twitter files was published here. We expected to publish more over the weekend. Many wondered why there was a delay," Taibbi tweeted.
"We can now tell you part of the reason why. On Tuesday, Twitter Deputy General Counsel (and former FBI General Counsel) Jim Baker was fired. Among the reasons? Vetting the first batch of "Twitter Files" â without knowledge of new management.
"The process for producing the "Twitter Files" involved delivery to two journalists (Bari Weiss and me) via a lawyer close to new management. However, after the initial batch, things became complicated," Taibbi went on.
He said Weiss discovered "that the person in charge of releasing the files was someone named Jim.
"When she called to ask 'Jim's' last name, the answer came back: 'Jim Baker.'"
Taibbi added in a tweet, "'My jaw hit the floor,' says Weiss." Baker "is a controversial figure," Taibbi wrote.
Taibbi claimed that Musk was unaware of Baker's involvement in the file-review process.