Former FBI general counsel tied to reporter who first wrote about the dirty dossier
House Republicans are investigating contact between the FBI's top lawyer and a Mother Jones reporter in the weeks before the left-leaning outlet broke the first news story about the existence of a disputed dossier alleging ties between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin, according to two congressional GOP sources who described documents linking the two men.The next question for Corn should be what were you talking about in your contact with Baker? Did you ask him to confirm any of the details in the dossier? did you ask him if the FBI was aware of it or using it? Is it possible that Corn was trying to confirm details of what his original source told him?
The GOP sources said the documents — made available recently to lawmakers by the Department of Justice — revealed that James Baker, the FBI's general counsel, communicated with Mother Jones reporter David Corn in the weeks leading up to the November 2016 election. Corn was the first to report the existence of the dossier on Oct. 31 and that it was compiled by a former high-level western spy.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that Baker had been reassigned within the FBI, though the reason for the move was unclear.
Corn denied that Baker was a source for his story on the dossier.
"I'm not going to discuss my sources. But in order to prevent the dissemination of inaccurate information, I will say that James Baker was not my source for this story," he said in a statement to POLITICO.
The congressional sources said there's no conclusive evidence that Baker aided Corn's reporting or acted as a source. But Republicans are pointing to the connection to cast suspicion about whether FBI officials had a hand in directing the details of the dossier to reporters, and the two sources said they expect it to be a focus of GOP investigators' upcoming lines of inquiry.
Baker's connection to Corn comes as Republicans in Congress have been raising questions about the FBI's handling of the now-famous Steele dossier, named for Christoper Steele, the British former intelligence agent subsequently identified as the author of the document.