National Security

2 former advisers to Comey leave FBI

Greg Nash

Two key advisers to former FBI Director James Comey are leaving the bureau.

James Baker, who served as the FBI’s top lawyer before being reassigned in December under the agency’s current director Christopher Wray, resigned on Friday, The New York Times reports.

Lisa Page, another FBI official who served as a legal adviser to Comey and his deputy at the bureau, Andrew McCabe, is also resigning, the Times reported.

Baker told the newspaper in an interview that he would be joining the Brookings Institution to write for its Lawfare blog, which is focused on national security.

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The FBI official was reportedly investigated as part of a Justice Department review into the potential sharing of classified information with reporters, though he has not been charged.

Page, meanwhile, has been the focus of GOP ire in recent months after text messages emerged between herself and another FBI official in which they criticized President Trump and other political figures.

According to the Times, the departures of Page and Baker were not related to one another.

Comey told the Times in a statement on his departure that Baker “represents the best of the Department of Justice and the F.B.I.”

“He has protected the country and the rule of law throughout his career and leaves an inspiring legacy of service,” he said. “He is what we should all hope our kids become, a person of integrity.” 

Comey also tweeted on Baker’s departure, calling him “a great public servant” whose “integrity and commitment to the rule of law have benefitted our country through 5 presidents, of both parties.”

Page and Baker worked closely with Comey during his tenure as FBI director, particularly as he oversaw investigations into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information as secretary of State and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

Baker also cautioned Comey not to say publicly that Trump was not a target of the Russia investigation because he believed that the FBI would eventually have to examine the president’s potential ties to Moscow.

Trump abruptly fired Comey in May 2017, ostensibly for his handling of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure at the State Department. The president later acknowledged, however, that he had considered Comey’s oversight of the Russia investigation as part of his decision to dismiss him. 

— Max Greenwood contributed to this article, which was updated at 10:10 p.m.

Tags Andrew McCabe Donald Trump Hillary Clinton James Comey
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