Twitter files release delay explained — a former FBI General Council was vetting them

THREAD: Twitter Files Supplemental

On Friday, the first installment of the Twitter files was published here. We expected to publish more over the weekend. Many wondered why there was a delay.

We can now 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? Vetting the first batch of “Twitter Files” – without knowledge of new management.

The process for producing the “Twitter Files” involved delivery to two journalists (Bari Weiss and me) via a lawyer close to new management. However, after the initial batch, things became complicated.

Over the weekend, while we both dealt with obstacles to new searches, it was @bariweiss who discovered that the person in charge of releasing the files was someone named Jim. When she called to ask “Jim’s” last name, the answer came back: “Jim Baker.”

“My jaw hit the floor,” says Weiss.

The first batch of files both reporters received was marked, “Spectra Baker Emails.”

Baker is a controversial figure. He has been something of a Zelig of FBI controversies dating back to 2016, from the Steele Dossier to the Alfa-Server mess. He resigned in 2018 after an investigation into leaks to the press.

The news that Baker was reviewing the “Twitter files” surprised everyone involved, to say the least. New Twitter chief Elon Musk acted quickly to “exit” Baker Tuesday.

Reporters resumed searches through Twitter Files material – a lot of it – today. The next installment of “The Twitter Files” will appear @bariweiss. Stay tuned.

Originally tweeted by Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) on December 6, 2022.

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