Twitter took fire on Tuesday over news that CEO Elon Musk fired former FBI general counsel James Baker from the company to “suppress” information.
On Friday, journalist Matt Taibbi, who leaked the “Twitter files,” shared an article about Twitter’s deputy general counsel Baker’s involvement in FBI scandals surrounding the Trump-Russia investigation.
An article by New York Post writer Jonathan Turley said Baker was “at the center of the Twitter suppression scandal.” Turley also noted that “Baker has been cited multiple times in Russia investigations launched by the Justice Department, including fraud related to Russia’s Alfa Bank.”
Musk responded to Taibbi’s tweet about the article, announcing that Baker had been permanently fired from the company.
“In light of concerns about Baker’s possible role in suppressing information important to public communication, he quit twitter todayMusk tweeted.
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Among the documents leaked on Friday in the Twitter Files was a message from Baker during the New York Post laptop story suppression hearing that, “I support the conclusion that we need more facts to assess whether the materials were compromised,” but ” it is reasonable” We must assume that they may be and be cautious.”
The revelation of his firing set Twitter ablaze with praise for Musk’s leadership and condemnation of Baker’s career history.
Australian columnist Rita Panahi summarized the shakeup on Twitter: “Baker is a former FBI general counsel who knelt down on Russian collusion and was instrumental in suppressing the NY Post’s damning stories about the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop.”
Molly Hemingway, editor-in-chief of The Federalist, tweeted: “James Baker, who was implicated in the ‘Russian collusion’ that caused so much damage to the country, has now quit Twitter.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., said Baker may have been fired from Twitter, but he has offered to testify before lawmakers.
“Republicans should call former FBI attorney Baker to testify about FBI trying to get @Twitter to meddle in election before he goes to @Twitter,” he tweeted.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., offered a similar suggestion: “.@elonmusk, can you make sure you forward our letter inviting James Baker to next year’s @GOPoversight hearing? We sent it to @Twitter in an email.”
Some users pointed out that this is part of Musk’s trend of removing the old guard from the leadership of Twitter.
PJ Media columnist Ryan Ledendecker wrote: “Now that’s a lead, baby. Boom.”
Commentator Ian Miles Cheong tweeted: “Cleaning house. There should be no place for those who seek to undermine Twitter’s role in spreading the truth through stories of set-up.”
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Some Twitter users are less optimistic about the leadership change.
“The Putinists are really having a blast on Twitter,” wrote David R. Lurie, a lawyer and author. “It is important to remember that the focus of the exercise is to provide compelling evidence to deny compensation to senior employees in connection with a change in management.”
Music producer and investor Leonidas Raisini denounced Musk as a political opportunist.
“I’m not sure what exactly you’re trying to achieve with these 2 years of stories. Are you being overly enthusiastic or trying to make friends with Republicans? Either way, you’re not going to run for president.”
Part of the reason Baker was fired from the company, Taibbi said, was that he “reviewed” the first part of the “Twitter files” without Musk’s knowledge.
“The first batch of Twitter files was released here on Friday. We had expected to release more over the weekend. Many wondered why there was a delay,” Taibbi tweeted. “Now we can 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? Examining the first batch of ‘Twitter files’ — without the knowledge of new management. .”
Investor Jason Howertson tweeted a summary of the story and expressed dismay at the media’s lack of coverage.
“Former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker (*coincidentally* involved in the fake Steele info and Alpha Bank hoax) has magically taken over as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel and has his fingerprints all over it,” he wrote. “It’s amazing to watch the kind of journalism that the media refuses to live on Twitter.”
Journalist Glenn Greenwald has highlighted the disturbingly blurred lines between big tech leadership and government institutions.
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“It’s a little difficult to maintain the US Security State in Twitter’s censorship regime when an *FBI General Counsel* who was central to Russiagate and various politicized abuses takes over as Twitter’s Deputy General Counsel. all,” he tweeted.
Sam Mangold-Lenet, editor of The Federalist, warned that the case could be part of a larger problem: “Twitter is *one* technology company, and the regime and its emissaries are going to great lengths to keep the truth out.
Commentator Steve Cortes wrote a scathing statement about the incident.
“Wait, what?! Did James Baker ‘clean’ the internal Twitter files of FBI involvement? James Baker is a horrible and dishonest operative, a key player in the Big Tech/Intelligence Community collusion. Smells awful…”