Former FBI General Counsel James Baker told lawmakers last week that based on conversations with senior FBI officials, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was “seriously” considering secretly recording President Trump’s conversations. Rosenstein also discussed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment on the president in an effort to remove him from office for being unfit. This, according to sources with direct knowledge of Baker’s deposition.
Baker said he met with former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI attorney Lisa Page shortly after their meeting with Rosenstein in May, 2017. He told lawmakers that McCabe, Page and Rosenstein had discussed the possibility of secretly recording President Trump. Baker, who was the top lawyer for the FBI and a close confidant of Comey, noted that he was not in the meeting with Rosenstein. A source with direct knowledge of the testimony claims Baker testified that “Andy McCabe, Lisa Page took seriously what Rosenstein had said, and when they returned to the office, the three of them discussed the possibility of secretly recording Trump.”
Baker told lawmakers during his deposition last Wednesday, that he told Page and McCabe that “he didn’t think it was unethical’ to secretly record the president.
“He interpreted what McCabe and Page had said as serious,” another source with direct knowledge of Baker’s deposition said. “Baker also added that he ‘didn’t do a legal analysis on…the issue of ‘ bugging the president.'”
Baker’s testimony to lawmakers coincides with a New York Times story published in September that suggested Rosenstein was behind a move in May, 2017 to remove the president after he ordered the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. The irony, however, was that on May 9, 2017, Rosenstein had written the letter outlining the reasons Comey was unfit to serve as FBI director stating, “The director was wrong to usurp the Attorney General’s authority on July 5, 2016, and announce his conclusion that the case should be closed without prosecution. It is not the function of the Director to make such an announcement.” The letter continues, “The Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation.”
Baker told lawmakers that “he didn’t think it was unethical’ to secretly record the president…”
On Monday, President Trump flew to Florida with Rosenstein in their first sit-down meeting since the New York Times story was published. According to the White House, Trump and Rosenstein met for a half-hour as they headed to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla.
Trump said at the event in Florida, “Thank you as well to our Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for being here, flew down together. The press wants to know, ‘What did you talk about?’ ‘We had a very good talk,’ I will say. That became a very big story, actually. We had a good talk.”
It is unsure if the situation will remain the same in light of Baker’s testimony. However, Rosenstein is set to give his deposition to lawmakers on Oct. 11 regarding the information published in the New York Times story, along with the information recently provided by Baker, several congressional lawmakers confirmed to SaraACarter.com.
White House officials did not comment on the deposition by Baker but instead referred comment to the DOJ.
DOJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores declined to comment on Baker’s testimony.
But Baker’s testimony revealed even more than the circumstances surrounding the Rosenstein meeting with Page and McCabe.
He also noted that David Corn, a politics journalist with Mother’s Jones magazine also delivered a version of Steele’s dossier to him sometime after the election. Baker, who apparently has known Corn for a long time, said that he turned over the dossier version given to him by Corn to the FBI’s counterintelligence division. Corn had been communicating in the summer of 2016 with former British spy Christopher Steele, who during that time was hired by now embattled research firm Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS’s was paid over $9 million to conduct the research on alleged Russia Trump connections by both the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, according to reports.
Around the same time period Corn published one of the first big exposes in October, 2016 on the alleged Trump Russia connection A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump. Corn’s dossier appears to have been different than the dossier that now deceased Sen. John McCain gave to the FBI but similar enough in its unsubstantiated substance.
In August, John Solomon published Did FBI get bamboozled by multiple versions of the Trump dossier ?
Solomon noted that the dossiers arrived to the FBI by different messengers to include “McCain, Mother Jones reporter David Corn, Fusion GPS founder (and Steele boss) Glenn Simpson.” The information was exposed in an email that Peter Strzok sent to FBI executives around the time BuzzFeed published a version of the dossier on Jan. 10, 2017.
Strzok wrote in the email, “our internal system is blocking the site. I have the PDF via iPhone but it’s 25.6MB. Comparing now. The set is only identical to what McCain had. (it has differences from what was given to us by Corn and Simpson.)” Strzok was referring to the BuzzFeed version of the dossier posted online, according to The Hill. And the revelation is significant according to lawmakers that noted the FBI should be working diligently to ensure that there is no manipulation of evidence or stacked circular reporting in investigations.
Last week, SaraACarter.com revealed that Baker also met with the Democratic party’s top lawyer, Michael Sussmann, to discuss the ongoing investigation by the bureau into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia.
According to Baker’s deposition, the meeting happened prior to the FBI’s initial warrant to spy on short-term campaign volunteer Carter Page, sources close to the investigation have told SaraACarter.com. Moreover, information provided by Baker coincides with the House Intelligence Committee’s final Russia report that suggests Sussmann was also leaking unverified information on the Trump campaign to journalists around the same time he met with Baker, according to the report and sources close the investigation.
The information exposes the bureau’s failure to inform the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) that the evidence used to spy on Page was partisan and unverified, lawmakers told this news outlet. It further reveals the extensive role and close connection Sussmann, a cybersecurity and national security lawyer with Perkins Coie, had with the now-embattled research firm, Fusion GPS.
The Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton Campaign retained Fusion GPS through Perkins Coie law firm during the 2016 election.