by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Brittany Bernstein writes for National Review Online about a significant development at Twitter.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday he has fired Twitter deputy general counsel Jim Baker in response to concerns “about Baker’s possible role in suppression of information important to the public dialogue” after the “Twitter files” revealed the lawyer’s involvement in the platform’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story in October 2020.
Asked on Twitter if Baker, a former FBI general counsel, was asked to explain himself before the firing, Musk replied: “Yes. His explanation was . . . unconvincing.”
Internal Twitter emails published by journalist Matt Taibbi reveal Baker was involved in discussions about whether the New York Post‘s October 2020 story about Hunter Biden’s laptop could be banned under the platform’s “hacked materials” policy.
“I support the conclusion that we need more facts to assess whether the materials were hacked,” Baker wrote at the time in response to a Twitter executive who asked if the site could “truthfully claim” that the laptop story was “part of the policy.”
“At this stage, however, it’s reasonable for us to assume that they may have been and that caution is warranted,” Baker added.
Days after releasing the first set of the “Twitter files,” Taibbi released a supplemental thread on Tuesday explaining that he and fellow journalist Bari Weiss were shocked to discover Baker had been involved in vetting the first batch of the Twitter files “without knowledge of new management.” He said this revelation delayed the two journalists from publishing a follow-up to the files over the weekend as previously promised.
Taibbi said the “Twitter Files” were delivered to him and Weiss via a lawyer close to new management but “things then became complicated.” Weiss discovered over the weekend that the man in charge of releasing the files was Baker.
“My jaw hit the floor,” Weiss reportedly told Taibbi.
“The news that Baker was reviewing the ‘Twitter files’ surprised everyone involved, to say the least,” Taibbi wrote. “New Twitter chief Elon Musk acted quickly to ‘exit’ Baker Tuesday.”