Republicans request update on investigation into ex-FBI official accused of leaks

Republicans request update on investigation into ex-FBI official accused of leaks
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Two Republican lawmakers on Tuesday requested an update on a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into James Baker, an ex-FBI official accused of media leaks.

GOP Reps. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanOvernight Health Care: DOJ charges doctors over illegal opioid prescriptions | Cummings accuses GOP of obstructing drug pricing probe | Sanders courts Republican voters with 'Medicare for All' | Dems probe funding of anti-abortion group Cummings accuses Oversight Republicans of obstructing drug price probe Schumer staffer-turned-wrestling coach focus of new documentary MORE (Ohio) and Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsThe Hill's Morning Report — Mueller aftermath: What will House Dems do now? Mueller report poses new test for Dems Washington in frenzy over release of Mueller report MORE (N.C.) sent a letter to the U.S. attorney of Connecticut asking for more information about the leak investigation that came up during Baker's interview before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees in October.

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"During the course of our investigation, we interviewed former FBI General Counsel James Baker and discovered your office is investigating him for unauthorized disclosures to the media," Jordan and Meadows wrote in their letter. "We are writing to request additional information about your ongoing criminal investigation of James Baker, as disclosed to the Committees by Mr. Baker's attorney."

Baker's lawyer Daniel Levin said during the closed-door interview that his client could not answer questions about reporters because he is the subject of a DOJ investigation, according to a portion of the interview transcript cited Tuesday's letter.

Levin during the interview said that John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, was the prosecutor assigned to Baker's case, according to the transcript.

Durham's office declined to comment.

"I'm sorry, I'm ... not going to let [Baker] answer these questions right now," Levin told Jordan in October, according to the letter. "You may or may not know, he's been the subject of ... a criminal leak investigation that's still active at the Justice Department."

The leak probe, which began under the previous administration, was previously reported. Sources close to the investigation in December 2017 told The Washington Post that the probe was essentially over, with Baker cleared of allegations of wrongdoing.

The investigation stemmed from a dispute between the FBI and National Security Agency over stories about surveillance techniques, according to the Post.
 
The DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The DOJ has said that its email inbox for press inquiries is not being checked regularly while the department is affected by the partial government shutdown.

The interview involving Jordan and Baker was part of an investigation by the the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees into FBI and DOJ decision-making during the 2016 election.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the new head of the House Judiciary Committee, has said he has no intention of continuing the GOP-led investigation into FBI and DOJ during the 116th Congress.

"There is no evidence of bias at the FBI and this other nonsense they are talking about," Nadler said last month.

Nadler's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the GOP lawmakers' letter. 

Jordan and Meadows have spearheaded attempts by GOP lawmakers to investigate allegations of anti-Trump bias at the FBI and Justice Department during the 2016 presidential election.

Updated at 2:32 p.m.