“A former top FBI lawyer acknowledged he was personally involved in the warrant application to surveil then-Trump campaign aide Carter Page and confirmed other “unusual” steps taken in the FBI’s Russia probe in 2016, during a closed-door congressional interview.
“I was aware of the [Russia] investigation,” James Baker told House investigators in October. Fox News has confirmed details of the transcript which is still under government review before its public release.
Baker said he was briefed on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant “as time went by” and recalled how he got involved early in the process. The warrant relied heavily on the unverified anti-Trump dossier, which was financed by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign via the law firm Perkins Coie.
“I don’t want to see it at the end, like when it is about to go to the director [for] certification, because then it is hard to make changes then,” Baker told House investigators when Republicans controlled the chamber. “So I wanted to see it when it was gelled enough but before it went through the process and before it went to the director. I wanted to see it and I wanted to read it because I knew it was sensitive.”
Fox News confirmed the Baker transcript also includes the following exchange with investigators regarding his involvement in the surveillance application:
Question: “So that is why you took the abnormal or unusual step in this particular situation because it was sensitive?”
Question: “So you actually got involved because you want to make sure that, what?”