Sources close to a congressional investigation said a lawyer working with the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign gave the FBI’s general counsel documents for the Russia investigation in late 2016, while federal prosecutors were preparing a surveillance warrant for Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
James Baker, the FBI official in question, told congressional investigators that the documents and computer storage devices on Russian hacking were provided by Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussman, who contacted Baker. The sources said Baker considered it unusual, saying that it was the “only time it happened.”
Perkins Coie played a significant role in the bureau’s investigation into Donald Trump’s background, as it helped fund the anti-Trump dossier that may have fueled the probe. Opposition firm Fusion GPS was hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign through Perkins Coie to look into then-candidate Trump, Fox News writes.
In response to Baker’s statement, a spokesperson for the law firm said in a statement that Sussmann’s contact was not connected to the firm’s representation of the DNC or Clinton campaign.
“Prior to joining Perkins Coie, Michael Sussmann served as a cybercrime prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice during both Republican and Democratic administrations,” the statement said. “When Sussmann met with Mr. Baker on behalf of a client, it was not connected to the firm’s representation of the Hillary Clinton Campaign, the DNC or any Political Law Group client.”
After Baker’s deposition, Republican lawmakers said he gave an “explosive” testimony of how the Russia investigation was handled but they declined to provide more extensive details, citing a confidentiality agreement with Baker and his attorneys.
Representative Jim Jordan further noted that at the time the “DOJ and FBI were putting together the FISA (surveillance warrant),” there was another source providing the FBI with information.