Since being removed from his position as the general counsel of the FBI, Jim Baker has maintained a public silence about the Russia investigation, the president’s tweets about him, and the president’s behavior both toward Russia and toward the FBI. Baker, who spent six months as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and Lawfare and is now the director of national security and cybersecurity at the R Street Institute, kept quiet out of deference to the Mueller investigation and the desire not to discuss pending investigative matters with national security implications. Now, however, the Mueller investigation is finished, Mueller’s report is out, and the House of Representatives has released transcripts of hours of interview that Baker did with congressional oversight committees. Baker is now ready to tell his story.
On May 10, the Brookings Institution hosted a public conversation between Baker and Brookings Senior Fellow Benjamin Wittes. The conversation, which served as a live recording of the Lawfare Podcast, covered how the FBI thought about the Russia investigation in those fateful months both before and after the president fired FBI Director James Comey. How did the president’s conduct toward the bureau impact the institution? How did it affect career public servants like Baker? And how does Baker feel now about the president and his conduct after reading the Mueller report?
After the session, speakers answered questions form the audience.