When Miranda Devine commented on Elon Musk’s first installment of Twitter emails released through journalist Matt Taibbi last Friday, she said she thought there was still a piece missing --- that he was holding something back. And Musk himself had announced there would be more to come.
Devine’s intuition was spot-on. And on Tuesday, there was something else, but it didn't come in the form of more documents. It was the news that the initial release of documents concerning information that had been censored at Twitter had been, ironically, censored at Twitter, by someone still working there. Would it surprise you to know that this person turned out to be JAMES BAKER?
So on Tuesday, Musk fired Baker, who had served as Twitter’s deputy general counsel. The most surprising part of this development is the fact that Baker –- of all people –- wasn’t already gone, as part of the first big wave of top-level firing that Musk carried out right away. It would be interesting to know why Musk hadn’t quite gotten around to firing him yet, as surely there is a method to his madness. But Musk announced Baker’s "exiting" in a tweet (naturally) on Tuesday, citing “concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue.”
Taibbi summed Baker up this way on Tuesday afternoon: “Baker is a controversial figure. He has been something of a Zelig [shadowy figure who’s always around] of FBI controversies dating back to 2016, from the Steele Dossier to the Alfa-Server mess. He resigned in 2018 after an investigation into leaks to the press.”
As it turns out, the “crucial element.” as Devine calls it, was missing because Baker had gone through the materials before they were handed off to Taibbi and his colleague Bari Weiss, holding part of it back. That’s the “suppression” Musk was talking about in reference to him. And the part that Baker had made sure was missing apparently had to do with (surprise!) the FBI.
Weiss found this out by accident. She learned that someone in charge of releasing the files was named Jim. When she called to ask Jim’s last name, she was told it was Baker. “My jaw hit the floor,” she said.
This explains why Taibbi tweeted after reviewing the first installment of documents that he’d seen no role played by the government in the censorship. Those of us who’ve been following this story and knew better were scratching our heads over that remark, wondering if Musk himself had redacted the information for some reason. No, it was Baker who had prevented Taibbi and Weiss from seeing it.
As the POST reports, “Twitter tapped Baker to help lead its legal team in June 2020, a month after the social-media company generated controversy for labeling two Trump tweets claiming that mail-in ballots will lead to a ‘rigged election’ as promoting misinformation.” I think, though, that we’re going to learn more about why this particular person was hired at this particular time.
Now we know why the “Twitter Files” first released to Taibbi contained essentially nothing about this. There was just the one “privileged and confidential” email from Baker (date and time removed, oddly) that’s been widely quoted, reacting to Devine’s breaking story and saying it was advisable to use their anti-hacking policy as a reason to censor it. Devine said Tuesday that “it was pretty obvious who was suppressing that information, who was the person with the biggest motive. It was Twitter’s top lawyer, James Baker, who...had been the top lawyer at the FBI, the ‘quarterback’ of the FBI Russia collusion scandal.”
Recall that when Baker left the FBI (putting himself conveniently out of reach of any internal investigation), he landed a job at the Clinton-connected Brookings Institution, home of Igor Danchenko and Charles Dolan of “dossier” fame. Then, five months before the 2020 election, he was hired at Twitter. I would note that this was around the time it would’ve been obvious to Biden’s people that they had a serious scandal on their hands with the laptop –- one that had to be contained.
Devine concluded, “Elon Musk needs to let all the information out, let us all see it, no more of this curating and holding back.” And Musk does say he plans to release it ALL.
It should come as no surprise that the guy who came aboard at Twitter to suppress information was still doing just that, suppressing the information his new boss wanted to release. And when Baker left the salt out of the stew, he led the ‘journalists’ at ROLLING STONE, for example --- where actual journalist Taibbi used to work --- to call it a big nothing. Their word for it was “snoozefest.”
At the time of this writing, we’re still waiting for that second drop. In the meantime, the most informative article you could read on the subject comes from Julie Kelly, who has a way of finding details that no one else has. Here she goes into the effort made by the Biden campaign and Democrat Party leadership to control media coverage of what was known to be “the worst kept secret in Washington,” namely, Biden family corruption.