Elon Musk’s latest “Twitter files” leak has sparked outrage from more liberal journalists, as Twitter’s new owner unexpectedly fired former FBI general counsel James Baker from the company.
Substack journalist Matt Taibbi announced that the internal documents’ release was delayed because he discovered that Baker had “pre-vetted” the documents without Musk’s knowledge.
A former FBI agent advocated for censoring the Hunter Biden laptop story in the first batch of Twitter Files Taibbi released last week. At the bureau, Baker worked under former director James Comey and played a key role in the Russia collusion investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
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Musk wrote on Twitter: “Due to concerns about Baker’s role in suppressing information critical to public communication, he has resigned from Twitter today.”
This news caused mixed reactions on the internet. Conservative pundits hailed Musk for “cleaning house,” while Republicans called on Baker to testify before Congress.
But some liberal media members saw nothing wrong with Baker’s involvement in a October 2020 document review of how the company chose to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Dan Friedman of Mother Jones said Baker was “just a guy with a hard job” who was unfairly bullied.
“Jim Baker has been involved in various controversies since he was the FBI’s general counsel. Is he ‘Zelig’ or just a guy with a hard job? Baker has been the subject of such rumors but has not been found to have leaked anything. .”
Former New Yorker journalist James Surowicki scoffed at the idea that he should not be involved in the case.
“Twitter’s top lawyer investigated the release of files containing material that could expose the company to legal action, including privacy issues. This is truly scandalous,” he tweeted.
NBC News’ Ben Collins also took notice of Baker, writing, “The scandal here is that Elon Musk found out who his company’s deputy general counsel was six weeks after he bought it.”
Matt Ford of the New Republic thought the incident was not a scandal.
“Twitter’s general counsel had an opportunity to review the internal documents before they were made public,” he tweeted.
Defense attorney and Substack author Ken White also downplayed the news, writing on Twitter: “Wow, Musk and Taibbi’s Jim Baker story is desperate and dumb.”
In subsequent tweets, he blasted Musk’s “stupid audience” and derided the latest news as “especially dumb.”
“But today’s new mini-update of the ‘scandal’ is especially weird. Oh, did the attorney general at home review the scandal material before it was sent to the press? SHOCKED,” he wrote.
The liberal outlets, which denounced Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation ahead of the 2020 election, paid little attention to the latest Twitter outbursts.