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 JordanFive takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump Jordan says Oversight should be more focused on McCabe, Rosenstein ahead of Cohen testimony White House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration MORE (Ohio) and Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsFive takeaways from McCabe’s allegations against Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight Winners and losers in the border security deal 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.