Elon Musk announced Tuesday that former FBI lawyer James Baker, who was Twitter’s deputy general counsel, had been “exited” from the company for allegedly holding up the release of documents pertaining to the platform’s handling of the Hunter Biden laptop report.
“In light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue, he was exited from Twitter today,” Musk posted on the social media site in response to Matt Taibbi tweeting a Sunday column by constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley.
Taibbi revealed the reason behind the alleged delay in the Twitter files’ release in a thread posted on the social media site Tuesday.
“On Friday, the first installment of the Twitter files was published here. We expected to publish more over the weekend. Many wondered why there was a delay,” Taibbi posted Tuesday.
In light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue, he was exited from Twitter today
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 6, 2022
“On Tuesday, Twitter Deputy General Counsel (and former FBI General Counsel) Jim Baker was fired,” Taibbi said in a follow-up tweet. “Among the reasons? Vetting the first batch of “Twitter Files” – without knowledge of new management.”
We can now tell you part of the reason why. On Tuesday, Twitter Deputy General Counsel (and former FBI General Counsel) Jim Baker was fired. Among the reasons? Vetting the first batch of “Twitter Files” – without knowledge of new management.
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 6, 2022
Musk said Baker’s explanation for delaying the release of materials was “unconvincing”
Taibbi noted that former New York Times journalist Bari Weiss also received documents from Musk, and Weiss learned that Baker was responsible for releasing the documents.
“My jaw hit the floor,” Weiss said, according to Taibbi.
Taibbi published documents Friday about Twitter’s actions with regards to an October 2020 report by the New York Post about the contents of a laptop abandoned by Hunter Biden. Taibbi noted Friday that Baker had urged Twitter employees “caution is warranted” about the laptop materials because there had been no proof that the materials were not obtained via hacking.
Twitter censored the story, blocking the New York Post from accessing its account, and also suspended other accounts, including the personal account of then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.
Baker, who was also involved in the probe of former President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, joined Twitter after leaving the FBI in June 2020. Baker approved surveillance on Carter Page, a Trump campaign aide, based on information contained in the since-discredited Steele Dossier.
The Daily Caller News Foundation confirmed the authenticity of the email the New York Post reported on in October 2020. Over a year later, The New York Times, Washington Post and CBS News confirmed the laptop’s authenticity.
Taibbi said that Weiss would be releasing more of the documents on Twitter’s censorship at an undetermined time.
Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation. The DCNF was unable to contact Baker for comment.